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Home » Authors » Charles Kingsley

About Charles Kingsley

Charles Kingsley was born the son of a clergyman in 1819 in Devon, and was brought up to follow in his father’s footsteps. He graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1842 and having married Fanny Grenfell he obtained a very good post as curate of Eversley church in Hampshire.

Kingsley however was not cut out to be a low profile parish rector. His was a type of faith which was to become known as Muscular Christianity - a strenuous, eager, active faith which above all believed that politics and religion were inseparable, it was a believer’s duty to affect the conditions of the time, conditions which Kingsley had noted and abhorred ever since his early brush with the Bristol Riots of 1831.
This concern for social reform is illustrated in the great classic The Water Babies available as an audio book download from Silksoundbooks.

Charles Kingsley audio book downloads:

The Water Babies Audiobook

The Water Babies Audiobook
Written by Charles Kingsley
Read by Nichola McAuliffe

There are very few children’s stories that have raised as much outrage in grown up politics as The Water Babies did when it first appeared in 1863. It was written by Charles Kingsley for his own little boy and shortly after he had been made tutor to the Prince of Wales. It seems fairly innocent at first, suggesting the gentle idea that when the poor little tykes who were used as human chimney brushes in the nineteenth century died, they were turned into water babies, small amphibious cherubs who headed off to paradise via an exciting and educational journey upstream in The Great River.

Innocent it wasn’t however, it changed minds, laws and eventually lives. Tom the young chimney sweep was responsible for more heartache amongst right thinking Victorians than any slightly wicked young chap off on an adventure has a right to be. This book is in fact a highly eloquent plea for the rights of child labourers, it also openly used the ideas of Darwin’s scandalous Theory of Evolution, and even put forward one of the earliest cries against pollution, but all this is hidden in one of the most moving and affecting children’s stories of all time.

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