Doing research for my novel Sleeping Beauty and the Beasts of the Past and Present, I found information about one of my three main characters, Ida Craddock, who was driven to suicide by the State and a very ignorant and yet powerful man, who rivals the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover or attorney Roy Cohn, and his name was Anthony Comstock.
My three characters will be in the first person (eternal now, as a friend of mine terms it), point of view, so as to capture the reality of their times better.
But, here’s the comparison of intelligence requirements we used to have in the Ivy League colleges as opposed to today, when the multi-billionaire dropouts rule the power positions in the U.S.A., and one of them (Elon Musk) brags that “high school and college aren’t even necessary.”
Ida Craddock, who began to read at 2.5 years old, spoke five languages and wrote in them as well. She also passed the entrance examination process (yes, real essays and tests that lasted four days just to get into undergrad college). Here’s what she had to pass (and she did, with flying colors):
Written examinations on ancient and modern geography (Donald Trump doesn’t even know where some countries are on a map, much less where hurricanes go), mathematics (most U.S. kids today are on the bottom tier in the world), English grammar and composition (do they even teach “grammar” anymore?), Latin grammar and hexameter verse, and Greek grammar and prose composition–all of which was followed by a fifth day for an oral examination (today, this is grad school stuff) on Cicero’s orations and Horace’s odes.
Of course, this was when education was held in high esteem and was a test of one’s broad knowledge of the world and history. She was approved to enter the college, but at the last minute, a Bishop and the head of the board said no. Why? Because they couldn’t afford it. So, women weren’t accepted into the University of Pennsylvania until 50 years later.
Today? Do entrants need to take that kind of grueling entrance? Not so much. They’ve eliminated the S.A.T., the kids use A. I. and ChatGPT to cheat, and all is right with the world. But most U.S. citizens couldn’t pass the basic Civics test given to new citizens coming into the United States!
So, one woman who could think rings around most men, and was also an autodidact genius, was chased over three continents by the Postmaster General and Vice Crime and Anti-Abortion Czar, Anthony Comstock, until she was driven to kill herself because she had the audacity to show the men up and point out the historical record of “phallic worship” in the world’s cultures? We have phallic worship and vagina worship of our celebrities today. Brad Pitt (hello, dick loving women). Also, the entire Kardashian Family. And, that rich playboy, and Johnny Apple sperm seed distributor to women everywhere, Elon (the Musk Ox) Musk. She also taught married couples how to enjoy sex with the addition of spiritual ingredients.
Our education system is a joke and a big business today. Its Ivy League has become a place where the one percent “network,” and the rest of the folks can go to hell or eat sloppy seconds at the pig trough of our country’s “trickle down economics.” Most “jobs” have no unions and then the Government brags about the low unemployment of the masses. But the masses are working three jobs to make ends meet.
This fellow Anthony Comstock was, as I think I mentioned before, a villain in two of my previous historical mystery novels, Dark Justice, about when abortion was illegal because of Comstock and a Catholic President of the American Medical Association. And, Jane the Grabber in the Detective Pat O’Malley mystery #3. He will be one of the three major characters in my upcoming novel.
Signed copies of the full anthology Draw Down the Moon are available for you to enjoy, which includes my story Jasmine and forty-one other stories. I only have five copies left to sign, so please respond quickly to get one. You may also join my “signed paperback book club” if you wish. This story also appears in my Silver Medal Award-Winning volume Valley of the Dogs in paper, digital, and audio formats.
Thanks for your continuing support, and I hope you have a great weekend!
San Diego, CA