Queen Victoria’s bathing machine by Gloria Whelan; illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (2014)

[Published by Simon and Schuster]


My mind was officially blown when I discovered the photograph in the back of Queen Victoria’s bathing machine, it’s an actual thing!

Through rhyming verse, we learn of Queen Victoria’s desire to swim. A swimming queen is not an easy accomplishment as revealing more than her hands and face to her subjects would have been disgraceful.

Luckily, Prince Albert is a very clever man, and he works on an idea that will make ocean-time possible for the Queen. After a lot of designing and tinkering, the bathing machine is born.

“Once out on the porch the curtain will hide you,IMG_1786

While your lady-in-waiting hovers beside you.

You climb down the steps in perfect repose,

into the ocean right up to your nose.”

Full of hilarious historical information, wonderful illustrations and excellent rhyme, Queen Victoria’s bathing machine is an absolute delight.

Check out Queen Victoria’s bathing machine at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Queen Victoria’s bathing machine from Fishpond.


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