A grim, wonderful and classic fantasy tale for children. A poor maltreated boy is working as a chimney-sweep. He drowns, but continue to live and learn in the magical water world. Perhaps he and his friends--drowned humans like him--can get a second chance among the living? An important aspect of The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby (first published 1862-63) is its criticism of child labour; the novel is credited with easing the passage of the Chimney Sweepers Regulation Act of 1864, which prohibited the use of minors as chimney-sweeps. This fairy tale for the 19th century is also of interest in the history of science. Charles Kingsley (1819-75) was a famous author and a broad church priest of the Church of England, with a keen interest in biology and natural science; he was an early supporter of Darwinism. With its metamorphoses and evolving organisms, The Water-Babies popularized Darwin's theory of evolution for children.
In this detailed investigation of 'masculine' gendered identity, first published in 1990, David Jackson uses his own personal history to look at the specific ways in which men become 'masculine'. In doing so he examines, but also offers some positive challenges to, the assumed qualities and values of growing up 'manly'. Jackson looks closely at the psychological and social forces active in his own development: relations with his father, violence at school, male banter and joking, sporting activities, boys' comics, and sexual relations. The title is a deliberate blend between life story and critical commentary that makes use of some areas of post-structuralist theory to make visible the social and emotional processes that contribute to one man's life history. With an innovative theoretical approach, this reissue will be of particular value to those interested in the social, psychological and cultural forces that have gone into the historical shaping of men and masculinities.
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