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The Secret Hat Collection of Dr. Seuss


cat-hat-original-art-seuss-geiselA fantastic profile on Collectors Weekly about Theodor Geisel’s AKA Dr. Seuss’s secret hat collection. It comes as little surprise, when one really stops to think about it, that Geisel might have a thing for hats. I remember reading The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (which just celebrated its 75th anniversary) as a child and being dazzled by the elaborate and ornate hats revealed as the ones before were swept away. And obviously The Cat in the Hat‘s own chapeau is nothing to sneeze at. But I love the extent to which is fanciful fetish apparently extended:

When the late author, the alter ego of Theodor Seuss Geisel, was penning his beloved Beginner Books for Random House in the 1960s, he’d have his editor in chief, Michael Frith, over to his house, where they’d work until the wee hours. And when they’d get stuck, according to “Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel” by Judith and Neil Morgan, Geisel would open a secret door to a closet filled with hundreds of hats. Then, he and Frith would each pick a different hat, perhaps a fez, or a sombrero, or maybe an authentic Baroque Czech helmet or a plastic toy viking helmet with horns. They’d sit on the floor and stare at each other in these until the right words came to them.

And they were behind a secret false door in his home! What a marvellous thing to know. It’s no wonder he was so able to tap into the joy and mystery that appeals to well to children. His collection of hats was apparently quite extensive, containing hundreds of hats.. And as reported in the article, many of them can now be viewed as part of an exhibition that is traveling across the U.S.A.

Read the full article for more information.

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

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