Review: Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic

Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock
by Vere Chappell
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Weiser Books (December 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1578634768
ISBN-13: 978-1578634767

( 4 stars out of 5 )

Ida Craddock was a “Freethinker” and an advocate for women’s rights. Miss Craddock turned her attention to the study of religious eroticism, and she developed a deep understanding of the occult. She wrote several tracts on sexuality, and it is those writings that brought her into conflict with the Comstock Law.

I suppose that you can not tell the tale of Ida Craddock without mentioning Anthony Comstock, and “comstockery.” Anthony Comstock managed to push through a law that forbid the transportation of  “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” material. The vague law gave Comstock an amazing amount of power.  “Comstock boasted that he was responsible for 4,000 arrests and fifteen suicides over his career.” How can a man, who claimed to support morality, boast about driving fifteen people to suicide?

At any rate, Ida Craddock was one of those driven to suicide. While some of her writings clearly showed her to be the product of her time, I was impressed with her knowledge of comparative religions. Miss Craddock believed that she was the wife of an angel named Soph.

In a strange moment of synchronicity, I was reading Craddock’s thoughts of angelic visitations, while the History channel covered much of the same thing in a show about ancient astronauts.

In short, I really enjoyed the book. I give it a solid 4 stars out of 5.

I received this book from Weiser Books after answering a trivia question on twitter. Check out @WeiserBooks on twitter.