A slightly abridged version of this wonderful classic. It has much deep meaning, and can provoke a lot of thought. Originally written in the 19th century, it has a lot of lessons for today's people.
ISBN 0 330 23832 9. (Abridged) This edition is a Piccolo book, illustrated by Mabel Lucie Attwell, and edited by Capt. Edric Vredenbury. He wrote:
The writer of The Water-Babies
Charles Kingsley, the author of this beautiful and entracing story for children, was born in 1819 and died in 1875. He was a great and good man, and Mrs. Kingsley's dedication in her book of his life, Charles Kingsley's Letters and Memories, gives his noble character in a few words. This is what his wife says, and what the world thought of him:--
Dedicated to the beloved memory of a righteous man who loved God and truth above all things. A man of untarnished honour-- Loyal and chilvalrous-- Gentle and strong-- Modest and humble-- Tender and true-- Pitiful to the weak-- Yearning after the erring. Stern to all forms of wrong and oppression, yet most stern towards himself-- Who being angry, yet sinned not. Whose highest virtues were known only to his wife, his children, his servants, and the poor, who lived in the presence of God here, and passing through the grave and gate of death now liveth unto God for evermore.
Such was the man who wrote The Water-Babies and many other delightful stories, including those grand romances Westward Ho! and Hereward the Wake.
Now perhaps you many think, from all this, that the following pages are very solemn and serious reading, but you will not go far with the little Chimney Sweep's marvellous adventures before you find there is as much to laught at as to wonder at. Like most great men Kingsley had a sense of humour as well as a vivid imagination.
The Water-Babies was written as far back as 1863 when the author was Rector of Evesley in Hampshire, and the story contains many allusions to men and topics of that day, which, while interesting then, would not now be understood by the young people for whom this special edition has been prepared. These parts, therefore, have been omitted.
With these few words I introduce you to Tom and his wonderful adventures.