Fairy-Story Motifs
Cunningham, Valentine. "Soiled Fairy: The Water-Babies in its Time," Essays in Criticism Vol. XXXV, No. 2 (April 1985): 121-48.
Cunningham analyzes many of the causes and issues Kingsley treats with heat and hysteria in The Water-Babies declaring that they frequently coincide with the age’s heatedness and hysterias for these causes and issues.  Cunningham also discusses The Water-Babies’ various affinities to other classic fairy-story motifs.

The Water-Babies; Social and Political Views; Fairy-Story Motifs; Sanitation; Cheap Clothes and Nasty; Glaucus; Religion.