The Seven Lady Godivas: Dr. Seuss’s Book of Nudes For Adults

On March 2 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel was born. He became famous as Dr. Seuss, creator of such children’s books as Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. He also wrote two books for adults: The Seven Lady Godivas (1939) and You’re Only Old Once!.

The Lady Godiva book was racy. Publishers’ Weekly wrote of it:

Originally published in 1939, this revisionist farce attempts to rectify the “shameful” story of “a big blond nude trotting around the town on a horse” and Peeping Tom, the “illicit snooper.” The frothy, historical romp presents seven Lady Godivas (Ladies Godiva?) whose father, the Lord of Coventry, is thrown from a horse and killed. The noble daughters vow to postpone their marriages to the seven Peeping brothers until they discover “some new and worthy Horse Truth, of benefit to man.” This gives Seuss the opportunity to contrive the origins of such wisdoms as, “Don’t put the cart before the horse.”

Wrote the author in the preface:

“A beautiful story of love, honor and scientific achievement has too long been gathering dust in the archives.”


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