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The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley - First edition thus - 1961 - from The First Edition and

The Water Babies

by Charles Kingsley

Condition: Very Good +/no dust jacket

London: Victor Gollancz Limited, 1961. First edition thus. Hardcover. Very Good +/no dust jacket. Harold Jones. The Water Babies 1961 by Charles Kingsley for sale. The Water Babies has its original dust jacket. The Water Babies is illustrated by Harold Jones. The dust jacket is in Very Good condition being complete but with wear to the top and bottom of the spine, corner wear, wear to the top edge of the front panel and top edges of the flaps, and very slight age toning to the top edges of the flaps. The publisher’s original green binding has a gilt illustration to the centre of the front board and gilt lettering to the spine. The boards are in Very Good condition with only very slight knocks to the top and bottom of the spine and to the corners. There are 222 numbered pages with decorated endpapers to the front and back in green, an illustrated Title Page, and numerous black and white illustrations throughout by Harold Jones. The pages are in overall Near Fine condition being exceptionally clean and firmly bound in with a very small retailer’s label applied to the bottom edge of the front pastedown.


The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862-1863 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863. The book was extremely popular during its day, and was a mainstay of children's literature through the 1920s,  but eventually fell out of favor in part due to its prejudices against Irish, Jews, Catholics, blacks, Americans, and the poor. In the style of Victorian-era novels, The Water-Babies is a didactic moral fable about a young chimney sweep, Tom, who falls into a river and becomes a 'water-baby,' guided by moral teachers through lessons and adventures, eventually earning the right to become human again and being united with an upper-class girl Ellie who had also become a 'water-baby.' Read more: Identifying first editions of The Water Babies


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title page
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First Edition
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