What a stupid cover for a book about a martyr of the feminist movement. Almost an insult - yeah it is an insult. It is also insulting that the male author has the nerve to call her a madwoman in the subtitle. He is some guy in religious studies. I bet if we compared belief systems he will be the crazy one.
Thanks to Hecate for turning me on to this woman's life. Hecate publishes the picture that should have been on the cover here.
Her story was told on the NPR website here. I have taken a short summary but go to their page to read the full story.
The 'Unprintable Life' Of A Civil Liberties Martyr
" Before Alfred Kinsey and Gloria Steinem, there was Ida Craddock. Craddock was a scholar, women's rights advocate and, by today's standards, a sexologist who in 1902 wrote how-to guides on sex.
Her work was considered filth by many, ...One of those critics was Anthony Comstock, a man who would become a sort of watchdog for obscenity in Victorian America."Comstock lobbied Congress in the early 1870s to create an anti-obscenity law, ,,,and finally, he succeeds in 1873.
The law became known as "the Comstock law," and he used it to his own advantage as he decided what was and wasn't obscene. Comstock was even made the head of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice.
Comstock charged her with breaking the anti-obscenity law on both state and federal levels, because she used the post office to mail her sex guides. Craddock soon found herself making headlines as she stood trial in federal court.
Here is someone who is claiming her right to freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and Comstock has thrown her in jail. Perhaps he was taunting Craddock, shaming her by scandalous association—just as he did later in taking her to jail aboard the elevated train, loudly calling attention to her with "opprobrious epithets" about the filth and blasphemy of her writings. No doubt he wanted to bring her to justice, but even more he wished to bring her into disgrace.
Craddock would eventually come to be regarded as an important figure in the feminist and civil liberties movements, but ultimately, it would be as a martyr. The night before her final sentencing, fearing the worst, Craddock killed herself.
"She thought her only option at that point was suicide," Schmidt says. "That that was the only way she was going to die a free woman.""