Victoria Woodhull was the maverick feminist who, with her sister Tennessee Claflin, set up Wall Street's first woman-run brokerage house. . . who ran for President in 1872. . . who shocked audiences by advocating free love and labeling wives ""sexual slaves."" All this was prefaced by a career as a fortune teller and traveling medium (sister Tennessee had been charged with manslaughter in a faith healing case) and ended with her repudiating everything and retreating into marriage with a wealthy Englishman. Historians have said that Woodhull set feminism back 100 years and her tendency to manipulate (and be manipulated by) men would probably make her even more of an outcast from the sisterhood today. But, although Meade displays some of the familiar tics of juvenile biographers-- invented dialogue, pussyfooting ""objectivity"" on such matters as ESP--she makes a sympathetic, thought-provoking case; in Meade's view it was Woodhull's lower-class origins which set her apart from other feminists and dictated her radical style, her concern with sexual and economic emancipation as opposed to voting rights, and finally her downfall when she dared to expose the redoubtable Henry Ward Beecher as an adulterous hypocrite. One is obliged to acknowledge that Johanna Johnston's accessible adult portrait (Mrs. Satan, 1967) covers much the same ground. However, Meade does establish helpful perspectives and treats her subject with integrity; in fact she makes the notorious Woodhull so intriguing that you might not consider two biographies to be overrepresentation at all.