A Wanton Woman

Paul Harvey

We've blogged here before about Leigh Schmidt's new biography of Ida Craddock; yesterday's All Things Considered on NPR features the book, and an interview with Schmidt -- and there's a review of it featured here. Here's a little excerpt from the written material accompanying the story:

Schmidt deals sentences just as lapidary as his subtitle (The Unpredictable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Scholar, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman) leads us to expect. "Since the end of the eighteenth century," he writes, "a good number of freethinkers had seen such fertility symbolism as a rich lode to mine for anticlerical nuggets, but no woman had ever joined this particular fraternity of gentlemanly dilettantes and antiquarians." And later: "The pile of unpublished manuscripts that [Craddock] produced (on everything from lunar mythology to heavenly bridegrooms to animal rites) left little doubt about the extent of her egghead dedication."

You can read an excerpt from the book here, and our previous blogging on the book here. Also, Religion Dispatches has an interview with Schmidt here, in which the author talks about his scholarly "superegoes" that hovered over him as he was writing about this unconventional and somewhat scandalous topic.


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