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1907. The Water-Babies was an exceptionally popular fantasy serialized in Macmillan's Magazine. It is the story of Tom, a young boy who is a chimney sweep employed by the brutal bully Mr. Grimes. Falling down a chimney, Tom finds himself in the presence of a girl called Ellie. Her cleanliness and neatness makes Tom aware for the first time of his own dirty blackened body. He is chased out of Ellie's house and falls into the river where he enters a magical underwater world and becomes a water-baby. Here we meet the caddis fly, the salmon and other creatures that teach Tom morality. Most readers, however, will be carried away by the fantasy and its sense of hope and possibility in life. The famous characters of Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby and Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid appear in the story, and Kingsley portrays the water world in a consistently vivid and exciting manner. See other books by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
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