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Monday, March 2, 2015

Dr. Seuss's Little-Known Book of Nudes: The Seven Lady Godivas (SFW), plus his new book

Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991) (wiki), better known as "Dr. Seuss" was born on arch 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Here's the story of one of his lesser-known masterpieces; I think that Ladies Godiva, rather than Lady Godivas, is probably grammatically correct, but what the heck.

Unlike the rest of Dr. Seuss's oeuvre, 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.
The book, however, was a complete flop. Ten thousand copies were printed on the first run, and only about 2,500 were sold. The Seven Lady Godivas eventually went out of print, causing Geisel to later say:
I attempted to draw the sexiest babes I could, but they came out looking absurd.

See more, including the rest of the artwork, at Brain Pickings.

From What Pet Should I Get, to be released summer 2015

This is Ann... she drinks blood! Dr Seuss Does Malaria.

Private Snafu: The World War II Propaganda Cartoons Created by Dr. Seuss, Frank Capra, and Mel Blanc.

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