Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

*July 3, 1860 (Hartford, United States)
†August 17, 1935 (Pasadena, United States)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an American writer, philosopher and social reformer. She was born as Charlotte Anna Perkins in Hartford, Connecticut, to Mary Fitch Westcott Perkins and Frederick Beecher Perkins, who left the family to poverty when she was very young. As a result, she received very little formal education in her youth, but later attended the Rhode Island School of Design. Gilman married artist Charles Stetson in 1884, but domestic life proved unsuited to her, and after the birth of their daughter, Katharine, she began to suffer from depression. This experience inspired her to her famous short story, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) about a woman’s descend into madness. To improve her health, Gilman moved to California with her daughter in 1888 and spent much of the following years writing and lecturing on topics such as feminism, marriage, social reform and women’s role in society. She divorced her husband in 1894 and, believing in equal paternal rights, send her daughter to live with him. In 1900, Gilman married her cousin, George Houghton Gilman, and experienced for the first time a fulfilling relationship that endured until Houghton Gilman’s death in 1934. Over the intervening years, Gilman wrote and published more than a dozen books as well as poems and non-fiction, and ran her own magazine, The Forerunner, in which many of her stories appeared. Among her most famous works are the manifesto Women and Economics (1898), a radical call for economic independence for women, and her feminist utopian novel Herland (1915) about an all-female society. After she was diagnosed with incurable cancer, Gilman ended her own life in 1935.

Kristin Käuper

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    Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (1911): The Crux. A Novel. New York: Charlton Company. Online verfügbar unter, zuletzt geprüft am 25.04.2014.

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  • Online Sources
  • ECC
  • Media

    Vorlesung “History of Women Philosophers” – Harriet Taylor Mill, Edith Stein und Hannah Arendt

    Teil 10 der Vorlesung “History of Women Philosophers” des Wintersemesters 2011/2012 von Prof. Dr. Ruth Hagengruber an der Universität Paderborn.

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