67 Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

Natalia Kome


Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3rd, 1860. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut. She had a very difficult childhood. When she was young, her father abandoned his family which left her mother to raise two kids all on her own. However, this missing father was related to Harriet Beecher Stowe, which she lived with for a while. During the course of her childhood her family moved around a lot which left her education suffering greatly.

During her life she had two marriages. Her first husband was an artist named Charles Stetson, whom she wed in 1884. She had one daughter from this marriage, named Katherine. During this time, she experienced a lot of severe depression and postpartum depression. This is known to be the inspiration of her writing of “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

She was also well known for being a women’s rights activist. During this stage of her life, she wrote a lot of fiction writing as well as some amazing nonfiction writings. One of her greatest nonfiction writings was called “Women and Economics.” This was later used as a textbook. Although this piece of writing was well known, fiction was more of her specialty. She wrote a plentiful amount of successful texts such as “The Home: Its Work and Influence” and “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Another major thing that she did was publish her own magazine called “The Forerunner” which was a large success of hers. This allowed her to express her ideas about women’s issues. She published from 1909 to 1916, including essays, opinion work, poetry, and parts of novels.

Later in her life, she got a divorce and then went on to get married again. Her second marriage was to her cousin George Gilman. These two stayed together until his death. The next year she found out that she had inoperable breast cancer. After figuring out she would not survive her ailment, she decided to commit suicide on August 17, 1935.


“Charlotte Perkins Gilman.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 2 Apr. 2014, www.biography.com/people/charlotte-perkins-gilman-9311669.

“Charlotte Perkins Gilman.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 Nov. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Perkins_Gilman.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 29 Aug. 2017, www.britannica.com/biography/Charlotte-Perkins-Gilman.


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Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature Copyright © by Natalia Kome is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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