|Wood, Naomi. “A (Sea)
Green Victorian: Charles Kingsley and the The Water-Babies,” Lion
and the Unicorn Vol. 19, No. 2 (1995): 233-52.
Wood argues that Kingsley's naturalism, especially as depicted in The Water-Babies, may be considered as proto-environmentalism. Kingsley throughout this tale blames his contemporaries' too ready and uncritical embracing of machinery and industry as responsible for Victorian England's pervasive pollution. He contrasts this man-made wastefulness with nature's productive ways which are invariably economical, pleasurable, and clean. Wood considers that The Water-Babies anticipates certain contemporary environmentalist agendas and, remaining "a rich and many-layered commentary on the biological and metaphorical relationship between humans and their environment," may still be a relevant environmentalist tract (249).