'this is all a fairy tale…and, therefore, you are not to believe a word of it, even if it is true'
The Water-Babies (1863) is one of the strangest and most powerful children’s stories ever written. This new paperback edition of Kingsley’s extraordinary children’s fantasy reprints the original first-edition text and illustrations and explores the book’s many different facets. Conventionally regarded as a children’s book in its many abridged and expurgated versions, this version reveals the story’s other genres, as social polemic, topical satire, moral fable, evolutionary tract, naturalist’s handbook, and fairy tale.
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'this is all a fairy tale…and, therefore, you are not to believe a word of it, even if it is true'

The Water-Babies (1863) is one of the strangest and most powerful children’s stories ever written. This new paperback edition of Kingsley’s extraordinary children’s fantasy reprints the original first-edition text and illustrations and explores the book’s many different facets. Conventionally regarded as a children’s book in its many abridged and expurgated versions, this version reveals the story’s other genres, as social polemic, topical satire, moral fable, evolutionary tract, naturalist’s handbook, and fairy tale.

Follow our Classics on Twitter or like them on Facebook for more great literature.