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CHARLES KINGSLEY'S THE WATER-BABIES: INDUSTRIAL ENGLAND, THE IRISH FAMINE, AND THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

  • Catherine Nealy Judd (a1)
Abstract

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.

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References
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Victorian Literature and Culture
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