York Beach, Maine: Teitan Press, 2010. First Edition. Hardcover. 8vo. xviii + 318pp. High quality blue cloth with gilt titling to spine. Colour frontispiece. References, Index. Edition limited to 650 numbered copies.
Book is in new unread condition
Philadelphia-born Ida Craddock (1857-1902) was a forceful public exponent of women’s rights and sexual freedom whose interest in Theosophy and Spiritualism led her into a profound involvement with the occult. Attacked by conservatives as promoting obscenity and immorality on account of her reforming activities, Craddock became the focus of an organised campaign of persecution. Facing a lengthy prison sentence that she did not expect to survive, she instead took her own life, at age forty-five. After her death, Craddock’s work on sexuality and occultism attracted the interest of a small number of well-known figures, including Aleister Crowley, who wrote that she possessed “…initiated knowledge of extraordinary depth. She seems to have had access to certain most concealed sanctuaries…. She has put down statements in plain English which are positively staggering.” Amongst her papers, Craddock left two manuscripts, Lunar and Sex Worship and Sex Worship (Continued) that had been commissioned by her patron, the Spiritualist W. T. Stead. They are effectively studies of sexuality in religion and mythology, as viewed through the prism of Craddock’s own experiences and beliefs. This Teitan Press edition is the first ever publication of Lunar and Sex Worship and Sex Worship (Continued). It comprises the complete text of both works, edited and introduced by Vere Chappell, an expert on the life and work of Craddock.