Charles Kingsley (12 June 1819 – 23 January 1875) was an evangelical priest of the Church of England, a university professor, historian and novelist. Kingsley was born in Holne, Devon, the first of two sons from the Reverend Charles Kingsley and his wife Mary Lucas Kingsley. He is particularly associated with the West Country and northeast Hampshire. He was a friend and correspondent with Charles Darwin. Kingsley also received letters from Thomas Huxley in 1860 and later in 1863, discussing Huxley's early ideas on agnosticism.
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel. The protagonist is Tom, a young chimney sweep, who falls into a river after encountering an upper-class girl named Ellie and being chased out of her house. There he drowns and is transformed into a "water-baby", as he is told by a caddisfly—an insect that sheds its skin—and begins his moral education.