The Shakers were a utopian, egalitarian religious group, originally an offshoot of the Quaker community in eighteenth-century England, whose adherents dedicated themselves to God by separating themselves from the world and giving up all worldly pleasures -- including sex. Shakerism was brought to the United States by a young woman called Ann Lee. Lee had been married to a blacksmith in Manchester and had four children with him; all of these children died. It's hard not to feel a huge grief behind her insistence that... More >>>