Books

The Water Babies

Charles Kingsley (and others)

Timothy West, Julia McKenzie and Oliver Peace star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Charles Kingsley’s classic tale of a chimney sweep who becomes a water baby.

Forced up the chimneys of Hartover Hall by his cruel master, Grimes, young Tom gets lost and comes down the wrong one, frightening little Miss Ellie. In the chase that follows, he is rescued by the fairies and taken to be a water baby under the waves. There, he makes friends with sea creatures such as the Lobster and meets the beautiful, kind fairy Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and her ugly, unpleasant sister Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid. When he is introduced to the other Water Babies, he is reunited with Ellie, who has also been transformed. With her support, he sets off on a quest to the Other-End-Of-Nowhere. But first he must find Mother Carey’s peace pool – and help out the last person he wants to save: his former master...

Oliver Peace stars as Tom, with Timothy West as Charles Kingsley and Julia McKenzie as Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid. Dramatised by Berlie Doherty. The wonder and excitement of much-loved children’s classics lives on in BBC Radio’s acclaimed full-cast dramatisations, complete with evocative music and sound effects. Duration: 3 hours approx.

Biography

Charles Kingsley (12 June 1819 – 23 January 1875) was a broad church priest of the Church of England, a university professor, social reformer, historian and novelist. He is particularly associated with Christian socialism, the working men's college, and forming labour cooperatives that failed but led to the working reforms of the progressive era. He was a friend and correspondent with Charles Darwin.