"A beautiful story of love, honor and scientific achievement" is how Dr. Seuss, with tongue in cheek, describes this book. Touted as Dr. Seuss's first book for adults, The Seven Lady Godivas was originally published in 1939 and reissued in 1987. It tells the story of not one, but seven 11th Century Lady Godivas. They are sisters sworn not to marry their beaus, the seven Peeping brothers (yes, Tom is one of them) until each of them discover a scientific truth about horses. They were driven to this oath by the death of their father during an experiment using a horse as a means of transportation.
The history is confused, but the fun never stops. Dr. Seuss's full page drawings (in red, black and white) illustrate every other page. The end papers are a fanciful illustration of the Godiva family tree. The text, though wordier than his childrens books and not in rhyme, is thoroughly Dr. Seuss. He explains the seven sisters preference for nudity by saying they had brains and were not given to vanity. He goes on to say "they were simply themselves and chose not to disguise it." Although this is a great summation of nudist philosophy, it doesn't say much about his regard for women who choose to wear clothes. Instead of scientific truths we are treated by the author to fanciful origins for seven proverbs about horses as each sister discovers her "horse truth" and goes on to marry her boyfriend.
If you enjoy Dr. Seuss, you will find these drawings and this story delightful. Although described as an adult book, children will enjoy the story as well. Today's young folks may not be familiar with all seven of the horse proverbs that Dr. Seuss relates in a book that is over 60 years old, but it should not deter from their enjoyment of this amusing tale. The drawings are not detailed enough to offend even the youngest of readers.