Charlotte Perkins Gilman
 

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

Brief Bibliography

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman, best known for her short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is credited as being the “intellectual leader of the women’s movement from the late 1890’s through to the mid 1920’s” (Moseley).  Gilman was a prolific writer and was outspoken in her activism for economic independence for women.  Gillman championed birth control, the need for women to have a voice in politics, the social responsibility towards childrearing, and the de-emphasis of the differences between the sexes.  She was a proponent of physical fitness for women and championed for non-restrictive clothing and shoes for women and children.  In fact, she is credited with helping to establish the first women’s gymnasium in Providence. 

    Gilman is lauded for her feminist activism, but her gynaecocentric and Nationalistic attitudes (the former influenced by Lester F. Ward’s theories and the latter by Edward Bellamy’s theories) have overshadowed her work.  Gilman was convinced that the influx of “inassimilable” immigrants into the United States boded ill for the future of America, and felt that entrance should be restricted to immigrants of western-European ancestry.  Gilman’s championship of birth control to increase economic freedom for women was predicated on her belief in the need to improve the race.

    Gilman was born Charlotte Anna Perkins, on July 3, 1860, in Hartford Connecticut.  Her parents were Mary Fitch Westcott and Frederic Beecher Perkins, the latter a librarian and magazine editor.  Frederic, the nephew of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Catherine Beecher, Isabella Beecher Hooker, and Henry Ward Beecher, left Mary when she was advised not to have any more children, finally divorcing her in 1869.  Upon the desertion of Frederic, the family moved from relative to relative, relying on charity and the limited work her mother could find.  Gilman’s education was sporadic, but she did study for two years at the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as to take a course in her twenties with the Society for the Encouragement of Studies at Home. 

    Gilman believed that she had serious work to do and so vowed not to marry.  She did, however, marry Walter Stetson, an artist, on May 4, 1884.  The depression that Gilman suffered early in her marriage worsened after the birth of her daughter, Katherine Beecher Stetson, on March 23, 1885.  Periods of visiting friends and family gave Gilman relief from her depression, and so she returned to California with her daughter in 1888. The couple amicably divorced in April of 1894, whereupon Walter married Gilman’s friend, Grace Channing.  The three then shared the upbringing of Katherine, with her father and stepmother assuming the most responsibility.  Gilman could then devote her life to her activism.  Gilman remarried in 1900, marrying her cousin, the seven-year younger George Houghton Gilman.  Gilman’s second marriage did not interfere with her activism, and it appears to have been a much happier marriage than her first one.  Gilman learned that she had incurable breast cancer in 1932.  She committed suicide in 1935, a year after her husband died, stating that she “chose chloroform over cancer.”

Works Cited

Moseley, Eva, (comp.,). Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935. Papers, 1846-1961: a Finding Aid. 1972. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College. 01 Nov. 2004 <http://oasis.harvard.edu/html/sch00019.html>.

 

Primary Sources

Books:

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Art Gems for the Home and Fireside. Providence, Rhode Island, 1888. 

---. In This Our World. 1893

---. Women and Economics. Boston: Small, Maynard, and Co., 1898.

Catt, Carrie Chapman and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Concerning Children. Boston: Small, Maynard, and Co., 1901.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Home: Its Work and Influence. New York: Mclure, Phillips, and Co., 1903.

Catt, Carrie Chapman and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Human Work. New York: McClure, Phillips, 1904.

---. What Diantha Did. 1910.

---. The Crux. 1910.

---. The Man Made World. 1911.

---. Benigna Machiavelli. 1914.

---. The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography. Madison: U of Wisconsin, 1935.

---. Herland and Selected Stories. 1915.  Ed. Barbara H. Solomon. New York: Signet Classic, 1992.

---. With Her In Our Land. 1916.

---. The Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Ed. Denise D. Knight. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 1994.

---. Unpunished. 1997.

Short Stories:

---. "The Giant Wistaria." New England Magazine.1891.  The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century U.S. Women's Writings.  Ed. Glynis Carr. Fall 1998. 01 Nov. 2004  <http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/gcarr/19cUSWW/CPG/GW.html> .

---. "The Yellow Wallpaper." 1892. (Audio Version.) Scribbling Women. Ed. Valerie Henderson. 2004.  The Public Media Foundation. College of Arts and Sciences,  Northeastern U, Boston. 01 Nov. 2004 <http://www.scribblingwomen.org/cgwallpaperfeature.htm>.

---. "Moving the Mountain." New York: Charlton Company, 1911.

---."If I Were A Man." 1914. America Past and Present Online 01 Nov 2004 <http://occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/nash5e_awl/chapter18/medialib/primarysources5_19_1.html>. 

Poetry:

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "To D. G." New England Journal of Education.  20 May 1880. "Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Forgotten First Publication." By Denise D. Knight. ANQ. 7 (1994): 223-226. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

---. In This Our World. Small, Maynard, and Co., 1898

---. Suffrage Songs and Verses. New York: Charlton Company, 1911. A Celebration of Women Writers. Ed. Mary Mark Ockerbloom.  01 Nov. 2004 <http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/gilman/suffrage/suffrage.html>.

Journals:

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Forerunner. Vols 1-7, 1901-1916. <http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/People/spok/serials/forerunner.html>. 

Essays:

---. "In Duty, Bound." Buffalo Christian Advocate.  12 Jan. 1884.

---. "One Girl of Many." The Alpha. 01 Feb. 1884.

---. "Society and the Baby." Kate Field's Washington. 18 March 1891. The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Newsletter. 7 (1997).  01 Nov 2004 <http://www.cortland.edu/gilman/newsletter.html>. 

---. "The Increase in Suicide." Woman's Journal. 23 (January 1904): 26-.

---. "Why Graves?" Woman's Journal. (27 August 1904): 274-.-

---. "Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper." The Forerunner. Ed. Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Oct. 1913. Kino-Eye. Ed. David Tamés. 01 Nov. 2004. 01 Nov. 2004  <http://www.kino-eye.com/yp/whyiwrote.html>.

---. "Why Fuss About Death?" Baltimore Sun 4 (November 1919): 4-5.

---. "The Right to Die." Forum 94 (November 1935): 297-300.

---. His Religion and Hers: A Study of the Faith of Our Fathers and the Work of Our Mothers. New York: Century, 1923. Rpt. Westport, Conn.: Hyperion P, 1976.

---. Journey From Within: The Love Letters of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1897-1900. Ed. Mary Hill.  July 1995 Bucknell University Press.

---. The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader. Univ Pr of Virginia, 1999.

---. "Turned." Short Story Classics. 17 Feb. 2004. 01 Nov. 2004 <http://www.geocities.com/short_stories_page/gilmanturned.html>.

Secondary Sources

Berkson, Dorothy. "So we all became mothers": Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and the new world of women's culture." Tennessee Studies in Literature. 32 (1989): 100-116. American Humanities Index. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Carter-Sanborn, Kristin. "Restraining Order: The Imperialist Anti-Violence of Charlotte Perkins Gilman." Arizona Quarterly. 56 (2000): 1-37. American Humanities Index. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Davis, Cynthia J. "Concerning Children: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Mothering, and Biography." Victorian Review. 27 (2001): 102-15. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

De Simone, Deborah M. (1995). "Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the feminization of Education." The Women in Literacy and Life Assembly. Fall 1995: 13-17. Digital Library and Archives. Ed. Mark B. Gerus. 03 Mar. 2003. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. 01 Nov. 2004 <http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/old-WILLA/fall95/DeSimone.html>.

Doskow, Minna. "Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Female Face of Social Darwinism." Weber Studies. 14 (1997): 9-23. American Humanities Index. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Egan, Maureen L. "Evolutionary Theory in the Social Philosophy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman."  Hypatia.   Spring 1989: 102-20. American Humanities Index. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Feldman, Yael S. From Essentialism to Constructivism? The Gender of Peace and War-Gilman, Woolf, Freud." Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas. 2 (2004): 113-45. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Gill, Valerie. "Catherine Beecher and Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Architects of Female Power." Journal of American Culture. 21 (1998): 17-25.  Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Knight, Denise.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman Newsletter. Ed. Jennifer S. Tuttle. U of San Diego. 1995-.  01 Nov. 2004  <http://www.cortland.edu/gilman/newsletter.html>.

Green, Carol Hurd. "This Land is Her Land." Nation. 252 (1991): 172-. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Hausman, Bernice L. "Sex Before Gender: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Evolutionary Paradigm of Utopia." Feminist Studies. Fall 1998: 489-511. American Humanities Index. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Hill, Mary Armfield. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Making of a Radical Feminist, 1860-186-96. Nov. 1981. Temple University Press.

Howe, Harriet. "Charlotte Perkins Gilman--As I Knew Her." Equal Rights: Independent Feminist Weekly 5 (September 1936): 216.

Hudak, Jennifer. "The Social Inventor : Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the (Re) Production of Perfection." Women's Studies. 32 (2003): 455-478. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Kessler, Carol Farley. "Brittle Jars and Bitter Jangles: Light Verse by Charlotte Perkins Gilman." Regionalism & the Female Imagination. 4 (1978): 35-44. American Humanities Index. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Knight, Denise D. "Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Forgotten First Publication." ANQ. 7 (1994): 223-226. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

---. "Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Lost Book: A Biographical Gap." ANQ.  14 (2001): 26-32. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

---. "The Dying of Charlotte Perkins Gilman." American Transcendental Quarterly. 13 (1999): 137-160.  Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Krieg, Joann P. "Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Whitman Connection." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 1 (1984) :21-26. American Humanities Index. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Lancaster, Jane. "'I Could Easily Have Been an Acrobat': Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Providence Ladies' Sanitary Gymnasium." American Transcendental Quarterly. 8 (1994): 33-52.  MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Lane, Ann J. To Herland and Beyond: The Life & Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. New York: Pantheon, 1990.

Lloyd, Brian. "Feminism, Utopian and Scientific: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Prison of the Familiar. American Studies; 39 (1998): 93-114.  Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Maloney, Karen E. "A Feminist Looks At Education: The Educational Philosophy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman." Teacher's College Record. 99 (1998): 514-537. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Moseley, Eva, (comp.,). Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935. Papers, 1846-1961: a Finding Aid. 1972. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College. 01 Nov. 2004 <http://oasis.harvard.edu/html/sch00019.html>.

O'Brien, Mary M. "Autobiography and Liminality: Which Story Does charlotte Perkins Gilman Choose to Tell?" Women's Studies. 20 (1991): 37-50. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Rudd, Jill, and Val Gough, eds. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Optimist Reformer. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 1999.

Scharnhorst, Gary. Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Boston: Twayne, 1985.

---. "Making Her Fame: Charlotte Perkins Gilman in California." California History. 64 (1985): 192-201. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Seitler, Dana. "Unnatural Selection: Mothers, Eugenic Feminism, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Regeneration Narratives." American Quarterly. 55 (2003): 61-89. American Humanities Index. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Veeder, William. "Who is Jane? The Intricate Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman." Arizona Quarterly. 44 (1988): 40-80. American Humanities Index. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

Weinbaum, Alys Eve. "Writing Feminist Genealogy: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Racial Nationalism, and the Reproduction of Maternalist Feminism." Feminist Studies; Summer 2001: 271-303. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Nipissing U. Education Centre Library. 29 Oct. 2004.

 

Available Images

Image 1. <http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/gilman/gilmancp-bibliography.html> .

Image 2. <http://gilman.thefreelibrary.com/> .

Image 3. <http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~sparks/gilmbib.html> .

Image 4. <http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/herland.html>.

Image 5. <http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/gcarr/19cUSWW/CPG/GW.html>.

Image 6. <http://www.womenwriters.net/domesticgoddess/gilman1.html>.

Image 7. <http://www.desertware.com/gilman/gilman_web_links.htm>.

Image 8. <http://encarta.msn.com/media_461522940_761574034_-1_1/Charlotte_Perkins_Gilman.html>.

Image 9. <http://occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/long_kennedy_literature_8/chapter47/deluxe.html>.

Image 10. <http://newman.baruch.cuny.edu/digital/2001/beecher/charlotte.htm>.

Image 11. <http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~clit121/YelWall1/>.

Prepared by Arlene Eshleman (2004).

Nipissing University
Contact:  Professor Ann-Barbara Graff
Department of English Studies
Email:  annbg@nipissingu.ca
Last modified: October 12, 2004