This original classic illustrated children tale is reprinted for the new generation to love from the great Writer, Charles Kingsley. Charles Kingsley (12 June 1819 - 23 January 1875) was an English priest of the Church of England, university professor, historian and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and northeast Hampshire. Kingsley's interest in history is shown in several of his writings, including The Heroes (1856), a children's book about Greek mythology, and several historical novels, of which the best known are Hypatia (1853), Hereward the Wake (1865) and Westward Ho! (1855). He was sympathetic to the idea of evolution and was one of the first to praise Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species. He had been sent an advance review copy and in his response of 18 November 1859 (four days before the book went on sale) stated that he had "long since, from watching the crossing of domesticated animals and plants, learn to disbelieve the dogma of the permanence of species." Darwin added an edited version of Kingsley's closing remarks to the next edition of his book, stating that "A celebrated author and divine has written to me that 'he has gradually learn to see that it is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that He created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that He required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of His laws'." When a heated dispute lasting three years developed over human evolution, Kingsley gently satirized the debate as the Great Hippocampus Question. His concern for social reform is illustrated in his great classic, The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby (1863) (which won a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1963) a kind of fairytale about a boy chimney sweep, which retained its popularity well into the 20th century. Furthermore in The Water-Babies he developed in this literary form something of a purgatory, which runs counter to his "Anti-Roman" theology. The story also mentions the main protagonists in the scientific debate over human origins, rearranging his earlier satire as the "great hippopotamus test." Kingsley was influenced by Frederick Denison Maurice, and was close to many Victorian thinkers and writers, for example the great Scottish writer George MacDonald. As a novelist his chief power lay in his descriptive faculties. The descriptions of South American scenery in Westward Ho!, of the Egyptian desert in Hypatia, of the North Devon scenery in Two Years Ago, are brilliant; and the American scenery is even more vividly and more truthfully described when he had seen it only by the eye of his imagination than in his work At Last, which was written after he had visited the tropics. His sympathy with children taught him how to secure their interests. His version of the old Greek stories entitled The Heroes, and Water-babies and Madam How and Lady Why, in which he deals with popular natural history, take high rank among books for children. Kingsley also wrote poetry and political articles, as well as several volumes of sermons. His argument, in print, with John Henry Newman, accusing him of untruthfulness and deceit, prompted the latter to write his Apologia Pro Vita Sua. He also wrote a preface to the 1859 edition of Henry Brooke's book The Fool of Quality in which he defends their shared belief in universal salvation. Kingsley coined the term pteridomania in his 1855 book Glaucus, or the Wonders of the Shore.