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The Water Babies (1863)

de Charles Kingsley

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2,983494,769 (3.32)165
Classic Literature. Juvenile Fiction. Folklore. HTML:

Readers of every age will delight in this fantastical fairy tale from Charles Kingsley. Tom, a young chimney sweep, comes to a tragically untimely end and is transformed into a mystical creature known as a water baby that resides in a magical sub-aqueous environment. Despite its nineteenth-century vintage, this engrossing fable has important lessons to teach today's readers.

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» Mira també 165 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 49 (següent | mostra-les totes)
The story reveals a lot about who Charles Kingsley really was, a good person with a lot of interests. The Bio included was taken from a lot of his wife's writings about him. Some of his poetry is included at the back and there is a list of titles in the King's Treasuries Series from spine number 231 to 258. ( )
  gmillar | May 3, 2024 |
Tom, an ill-treated chimney-boy, jumps into a cool stream to clean the soot off himself - and becomes a water baby, cleaner and happier than he has ever been, in a fairy world under river and sea. Meeting beautiful and frightening creatures, Tom travels to the Other-end-of-Nowhere on an unforgettable voyage of discovery.
  PlumfieldCH | Apr 30, 2024 |
Simon Vance did a fabulous job narrating this dear classic. I had to pick this up after reading Mother Carey's Chickens with my book group. A very old fashioned morality tale. I was a little startled to have an otter be evil and whales to be bad guys. Interesting how these animals have come to be more friendly and acceptable. I enjoyed it. ( )
  njcur | Jan 16, 2024 |
Words cannot express the depths of my loathing for this story. The only redeeming thing about this particular volume is that it has lovely painted illustrations by Jessie Willcox Smith (but the drawings on every page rarely match the story). The fantasy/political commentary that Lewis Carroll perfected so beautifully 10 years later is a disaster of disjointed obnoxiousness in Kingsley. He is the king of the run-on sentence. His story-telling reminds me of a six year old little boy on a fast-moving train describing everything he sees without pausing for breath. For 400 miles.

Besides the fact that it's just a horribly-written piece of mind-numbing blathering, it angered me in other ways. Kingsley was a preacher but he obviously thought he was too smart for his Bible. The story is very pro-evolution ("water is the mother of all living things"). In fact, the story gives us a good look at how the theory of evolution caused the church to fall away. Kingsley is writing to families and at least two generations grew up influenced by this popular book until its racist bits moved it, rightfully so, to the back of the classic literature shelf. It's funny (in a sad way) how ignorant "learned" people can sound talking about science contrary to reason.

One thing, ONE, actually intrigued me: the reference to the Cheshire Cat. I thought this was a creation of Carroll's, but it's not even a creation of Kingsley's. In fact, "grinning like a Cheshire Cat" had been a popular phrase for awhile and is believed to have it's roots in an 18th century cheese brand who used a smiling cat as its logo.

To top it all off, biographical research tells me he insulted Nathaniel Hawthorne. That's an immediate dismissal from me. He and Mark Twain (who insulted Jane Austen) can go pick their arrogant noses in a corner somewhere and let the masters remain.

I suppose if there's anything positive to be said on the story it's that Kingsley takes the side of the underdog in many conversations on social injustice. Many of the Water-Babies are like Tom---neglected and orphaned children who are given a better (after)life. But why would a Christian preacher mention Heaven and the Lord? Oh no...Kingsley brings them back to the primordial soup from which they began.

At least I crossed another book off my 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. However, I think I could have died happily not wasting my time on this drivel. ( )
1 vota classyhomemaker | Dec 11, 2023 |
Had this read aloud to me and thoroughly enjoyed it. ( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 49 (següent | mostra-les totes)
In parts political tract, scientific satire, Christian parable as well as children’s fantasy, it is a moving and uncomfortable book when read as child, and is even more unsettling when read as an adult. It emerged from a sense of social outrage, took on the big questions of belief and biology, and is eye-catching for a work by a 19th-century vicar in that reveals a world created and ruled not by gods, but by goddesses. Not only did it have a huge effect on young readers, it also helped to reform legislation that relieved the suffering of innumerable young people such as Tom, who had been forced to crawl inside chimneys to keep them clean.
afegit per KayCliff | editaThe Guardian, Richard Cole (Jul 11, 2016)
 
His most famous work, The Water-Babies, is an odd book which is at once a children’s classic, a moral fable, a response to the theory of evolution, and a satire on Victorian attitudes to child labour and religion.
afegit per KayCliff | editaInteresting Literature
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (52 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Charles Kingsleyautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Attwell, Mabel LucieIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Beards, Richard D.Editorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Fry, Rosalie K.Il·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Goble, WarwickIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Italiander, MikeIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Johnstone, Anne GrahameIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Johnstone, Anne GrahameIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Johnstone, Janet GrahameIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kirk, Maria L.Il·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
MacDonald, RobertaIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mozley, CharlesIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Robinson, W. HeathIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sambourne, LinleyIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Smith, Jessie WillcoxIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tarrant, Margaret W.Il·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Vihervaara, LyyliTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Wall Perné, Gust van deIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Once upon a time there was a little chimney-sweep, and his name was Tom.
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No one has a right to say that no water-babies exist, till they have seen no water-babies existing.
And whither she went, thither she came.
It's so beautiful, it must be true!
If my story is not true, something better is.
Wise men know that their business is to examine what is, and not to settle what is not.
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Classic Literature. Juvenile Fiction. Folklore. HTML:

Readers of every age will delight in this fantastical fairy tale from Charles Kingsley. Tom, a young chimney sweep, comes to a tragically untimely end and is transformed into a mystical creature known as a water baby that resides in a magical sub-aqueous environment. Despite its nineteenth-century vintage, this engrossing fable has important lessons to teach today's readers.

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Mitjana: (3.32)
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