The Selected Letters of Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Studies in American Literary Realism and Naturalism
504 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.30 in, 9
- Published: April 2009
Charlotte Perkins Gilman has reemerged as a major American literary figure, as evidenced by the republication of many of her stories and novels and an explosion of scholarship on her. This collection of letters, the last significant portion of Gilman’s private papers to remain unpublished, fills a crucial gap in Gilman scholarship, providing countless insights into her character through her own words. Denise D. Knight and Jennifer S. Tuttle have transcribed, edited, and contextualized the letters, taken from numerous archives and private collections, and organized them both thematically and chronologically.
The Selected Letters of Charlotte Perkins Gilman makes accessible the many intricate narratives created by Gilman’s correspondences. The editors have grouped letters according to the significant events in Gilman’s life and the important people to whom she wrote, including her friends and family members. Some letters echo her social theories on political topics, while others document Gilman’s battles with her private demons, such as depression and chronic poverty. Through this careful collection and contextualization, the editors provide essential facets of Gilman’s biography that would otherwise be lost. Taken together, these letters provide valuable insights into Gilman’s personality, illuminating the dichotomy between her strong, rational public persona and her vulnerable private side.
“The letters in this impeccable volume do not duplicate those in A Journey from Within, ed. by Mary Hill . . . a collection of Gilman’s love letters to her beloved second husband, Houghton Gilman. Supported by helpful chapter notes and photographs, this book complements that work and also Gilman’s memoir, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Highly recommended.”--CHOICE
“Denise D. Knight and Jennifer S. Tuttle have mined Gilman's correspondence . . . [and] have made a major contribution to the study of Gilman and the era during which she lived. Perhaps the most striking feature of this collection is the scope and depth of Gilman’s lifetime correspondence, which is judiciously managed by Knight and Tuttle through clearly defined editing choices. . . . Finally, this collection gives us valuable, extended insight. into the last years of Gilman's life, which are often overshadowed by the dramas of her youth.”—Resources for American Literary Study
“In The Selected Letters of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, readers can get to know the mercurial Gilman more intimately.”—The Washington Post