Shamed by his grimy appearance in the presence of an immaculate little girl, ten-year-old Tom — an ill-treated London chimney-sweep — promptly runs away. Diving into a river, he enters a magical underwater world of fairies and other whimsical creatures who teach him about truth, mercy, justice, courage, and other virtues. Although Charles Kingsley's fable can be read as simply a charming morality tale, it also blends elements of a scientific satire and a political tract. Kingsley not only parodied the controversy surrounding the then-new concept of natural selection but also helped foster legislation protecting abused children like his young hero.
This wondrous hardcover collectible includes a dozen full-page color plates plus numerous line drawings by Jessie Willcox Smith, one of the most prominent women artists of the Golden Age of Illustration. Immensely popular upon its 1863 publication, this beloved classic continues to captivate modern readers just as it stirred imaginations over a century ago.
A Calla Edition, originally published by Hodder and Stoughton, Limited, Nottingham, England, 1919.