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New biography of Ida Craddock to be published by Weiser

By | November 12, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 7 Comments

Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock, written by Vere Chappell, with a forward by Mary K. Greer, will be released in December by Weiser Books.

Not just a biography, in Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic the author has compiled  “the most extensive collection of Craddock’s work including original essays, diary excerpts, and suicide letters”.

The keywords associated with this book are hot: “Sex, Magick, Aleister Crowley, Orgasms, Erotic Dances, Angelic Beings, Revolutionary Activism, Liberation, Persecution, Defiance, and Suicide.” Intense.

From the book’s description on the publisher’s website:

Persecuted by Anthony Comstock and his Society for the Suppression of Vice, this turn-of-the-century heroine was also a spiritualist who learned many secrets of high magick through her claimed wedlock to an angelic being.

Born in Philadelphia in 1857, Ida Craddock became involved in occultism around the age of thirty. She attended classes at the Theosophical Society and began studying a tremendous amount of materials on various occult subjects.

She taught correspondence courses to women and newly married couples to educate them on the sacred nature of sex, maintaining that her explicit knowledge came from her nightly experiences with an angel named Soph. In 1902, she was arrested under New York’s anti-obscenity laws and committed suicide to avoid life in an asylum.

The book will be released on December 1st, 2010, and will be the fourth selection for @WeiserBooks‘s online Twitter book club, commencing on December 15th, 2010.

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Psyche is the editor of and the curator for the occult resource, Psyche also operates a tarot consultation business, Psyche Tarot. She has been published in The Cauldron, Konton, Tarot World Magazine, among other magazines, and her essay “Strategic Magick” appeared in Manifesting Prosperity (Megalithica, 2008).

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  1. I highly recommend this one, Ida was a fascinating and powerful woman and the biography along with attendant documents provide a picture of how far we’ve come since she was struggling against the censors. It also shows how quickly things can get out of hand when censorship is allowed free reign.

    Also check out Teitan Press’ newly published “Lunar and Sex Worship” by Ida Craddock, edited and with an introduction by Vere Chappell. The Teitan edition is the first time this work has been available to the public.

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    • Psyche says:

      I’m looking forward to reading it when it comes out, too. I don’t know much about her, really. Just what I’ve read on Wikipedia and in the book descriptions.

      Yes, I saw the Teitan Press book, and there’s another one coming out in December published by Basic – I’ll probably combine them in a future post.

      Talk about rising from obscurity – everyone seems to be writing about her all of the sudden. Did her works just come out of copyright?

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      • I was wondering the same thing. Whenever something like this comes out it always reignites my interest.

        Re: copyright – that’s an interesting question, from what I can tell her work’s been up for awhile online, so I don’t think it’s a copyright thing. I wonder if there’s random bits from the 60′s-70′s in relation to her role in the feminist movement. With her public suicide note and her battle with Comstock she would seem to be a perfect ideological example for the civil rights movement.

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        • I found some more info. Looks like Vere Chappell’s been working on the book for awhile. There was a paper presented in 1999 at the O.T.O.’s 2nd national conference and I guess there’s a bit in Disinfo’s Book of Lies as well.

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          • Psyche says:

            Craddock died in 1902, so her work would be long out of copyright. Haven’t read the Disinfo Book of Lies, but I will be reading at least one of these new biographies – a review copy is on its way.

            I’m intrigued.

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  2. [...] On Friday I posted about Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock, written by Vere Chappell and published by Weiser Books on December 1st, 2010. [...]

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  3. [...] Just a reminder that @WeiserBooks Twitter book club begins on Monday, so if you don’t have your copy yet, hopefully you can pick it up over the weekend. [...]

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