Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machineby Gloria Whelan (Author), Nancy Carpenter (Illustrator)
A Seussian, Victorian, Whimsical tale
When the summer sun shines bright and hot, everyone longs for a nice cool dip in the sea. So does Queen Victoria! It’s a hot summer’s day. Queen Victoria is gazing out to sea and the sea looks oh so very cool! Secretly Queen Victoria wishes that she could get rid of her itchy petticoats and tight corsets and go for a nice dip in the deep blue sea.
However, her lady-in-waiting almost faints thinking of the prospect of “The Queen” in a bathing suit!! How improper! What a disgrace! How could she possibly get to the water from the beach without showing “more” of herself??
The queen sighed a sigh. “I’ll give up the notion.
I’ll never be allowed to enter the ocean.
For how can I swim if I wear all my clothes,
My petticoats and dresses, my shoes and my hose?
But luckily, Prince Albert has a solution. He decides to come to her rescue and solve her little problem. So he employs his genius and intellect and devices a plan! A plan to build his beloved queen, a Bathing Machine!
At first, his experiments don’t work. But soon enough Prince Albert has a perfect plan! Immediately, Albert gets busy. His demands get everyone running around for things. Wood from a tree, stones to be hauled, wheels to be made and oh yes, a mason! Finally Albert’s “Bathing Machine” was ready for his beloved Queen Victoria!
In this charming and silly “almost true-to-life” story, Whelan tells an amusing tale of the royals and their little dilemma. In this freestyle rhyme, Whelan’s story celebrates the affectionate couple and their love for each other. Nancy Carpenter’s pen and water color art adds to the humor and charm of the tale. Clearly our favorite part was the illustration which shows the joyful Queen Victoria shedding her layers of clothes and taking a dive into the ocean!
The Author’s note section gives us a quick history lesson and a nice photograph of the “real” Queen Victoria’s bathing machine which is today on display at the Isle of Wright, England.
Whimsical and creative, a wonderful piece of historical fiction at its best!