Books That Inspire 2012

The Water Babies: A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby
Charles Kingsley

Water Babies is a fairy story about a young chimney sweep named Tom. He becomes a water baby and has many underwater adventures. He learns about nature and morals from the fairy sisters Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby and Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid. They introduce Tom to the Doasyoulikes, who are a lesson in what happens if you don't do as you should!

Water Babies is also Kingsley's enthusiastic commentary on the evolution debates that followed the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. I currently do research on Kingsley and Water Babies, but it is also the book I learned to read on as a child.

Piers J. Hale
Assistant Professor, History of Modern Science
History of Science