“HISTORY HAS TREATED NO NAME SO SHABBILY”: FIRST EDITION OF DR. SEUSS’ EARLY ADULT BOOK, THE SEVEN LADY GODIVAS
SEUSS, Dr. The Seven Lady Godivas. New York: Random House, (1939). Quarto, original pink cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. Housed in custom slipcase. $2500.
First edition of Dr. Seuss’ first book for adults.
This early Seuss work was a departure from children’s literature, intended for an adult audience. Based on the legend of Lady Godiva’s ride, Seuss’ satire restores dignity to the scandalized Godiva family and Peeping Tom. “Referring to his recent children’s books and advertisements for Flit and Essomarine, Seuss explained that The Seven Lady Godivas was written ‘to escape the monotony of writing about nothing but men folks and children, dragons or fish… In his college studies of Tennyson, Seuss may well have come across the 1842 poem ‘Godiva.’ During his time in England after Dartmouth, he no doubt came across the legend again. The theme of the Lady Godiva story-championing the rights of the common man-is what links this ‘adult’ book to his ‘children’s’ stories and his political cartoons” (Cohen, 195). Younger & Hirsch 71.
Book fine, dust jacket extremely good with light toning to spine, chipping to folds and spine ends affecting publisher’s imprint, moderate soiling. A very desirable Seuss first edition.