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The Doctor Seuss “Adult” Book


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Doctor Seuss once created an adult book

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It was 1939. A few years earlier, Theodore Geisel aka Dr. Seuss had published his first children’s books, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Vanguard Press was Dr. Seuss’s first book publisher, but in 1939 he switched to Random House. One condition of this switch that Dr. Seuss got Random House to let him do one book for adults.

That adult book was The Seven Lady Godivas. In it, Dr. Seuss tells the story of the seven Godiva sisters, all of whom appear naked throughout the book. Their father has just died in a horse accident, and the sisters vow to not marry until they have each learned a valuable lesson about the nature of horses.

If that sounds bizarre to you, know that Dr. Seuss probably felt the same way. He later said, “I attempted to draw the sexiest babes I could, but they came out looking absurd.” Even better, on the very last page of the book, Dr. Seuss pays tribute to his Random House publisher, Bennett Cerf…by putting his name on a bucket of sap, implying that Cerf was being too nice in allowing the book to be published. The book was a total flop and only got reissued in 1987 because Dr. Seuss’s other books were so successful.

 

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