|Coleman, Dorothy. “Rabelais and The Water-Babies,”
Language Review Vol. 66, No. 3 (July 1971): 511-21.
Coleman examines the influence of Rabelais on Kingsley and, more specifically,
discusses Rabelaisian themes, echoes, and style in The Water-Babies.
Prickett, Stephen. “Adults in Allegory Land:
Kingsley and MacDonald,” in his Victorian Fantasy (Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, 1979): 150-197.
Prickett provides a lengthy examination of The Water-Babies comparing
and contrasting it with several allegorical fantasies of George MacDonald.
Among other topics, he discusses the extent to which Kingsley was influenced
by Wordsworth regarding his view of nature and his attitude to childhood,
as well as by Rabelais. He also examines Platonism, religion, evolution,
and the nature of allegory in The Water-Babies. Prickett declares
that Kingsley and MacDonald have quite distinct mental sets. “Kingsley,
the botanist, marine biologist and historian is fascinated by every minute
detail of this world; ‘other’ worlds are constructs – telling us yet more
about this. MacDonald is a temperamental Platonist, only interested
in the surface of this world for the news it gives him of another, hidden
reality, perceived, as it were, through a glass darkly” (193).