Ida Craddock (1857-1902)
earned notoriety as an advocate of women's rights, a student of human
sexuality, and a proponent of mystical exploration in an era that felt all
three territories (to say nothing of belly-dancing, of which she was something
of a devotee) were better left unexamined. Her remarkable and bracingly
eccentric life, recounted here by Leigh Eric Schmidt, represents the
intersection of free speech, psychiatry, sex, spiritualism, and politics, a
yeasty nexus still pulsating today.