Charles Kingsley's children's novel The Water-Babies (WB), written in the spring and summer of 1862, is a politically anxious text. In this essay I argue that although The Water-Babies' overall structure appears to be chaotic and arbitrary - J. M. I. Klaver, for example, deems the work a Victorian fantasy crowded with Kingsley's hobby-horses where he pour[s] out whatever he had on his mind (517) - in fact Kingsley's disquietude concerning the Irish Famine, U.S. slavery, and the condition of the British working classes provides a logical framework for the text.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Literature and Literary Theory