The Water Babies

1882, in an attractive leather binding


Charles Kingsley, with illustrations by Sir Noel Paton and Percival Skelton


Macmillan, London, 1882
The Water BabiesThe Water BabiesThe Water Babies

Printing Details

New Edition. Half-leather binding with ornate gilt decoration, five raised bands and contrasting leather title label to spine. 19 × 12.5cm, 388pp.

Tom, a poor orphan, is employed by the villainous chimney-sweep, Grimes, to climb up inside flues to clear away the soot. While engaged in this dreadful task, he loses his way and emerges in the bedroom of Ellie, the young daughter of the house who mistakes him for a thief. He runs away, and, hot and bothered, he slips into a cooling stream, falls asleep, and becomes a Water Baby. In his new life, he meets all sorts of aquatic creatures, including an engaging old lobster, other water babies, and at last reaches St Branden's Isle where he encounters the fierce Mrs Bedonebyeasyoudid and the motherly Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby. After a long and arduous quest to the Other-end-of-Nowhere young Tom achieves his heart's desire.

This edition with four full page plates, and illustrated chapter headings.


An attractive copy but with some wear. There is a split to the front joint (about 5cm, from the top) and the leather is lightly rubbed. The book has two previous owner's signatures, but remains in good readable condition.



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The Water BabiesThe Water BabiesThe Water Babies

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