Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, also known as Charlotte Perkins Stetson, was a writer, feminist, and sociologist.
Gilman’s father abandoned the family when she was young causing her mother to struggle to support the family alone. Gilman’s aunts stepped up to help the family. This is significant because her aunts were Isabella Beecher Hooker and Harriet Beecher Stowe. In 1884, Gilman married Charles Walter Stetson. Together they had one daughter. After the birth of their daughter, Gilman suffered with post-partum depression. Her depression lasted for around 4 years.
Charlotte and Walter’s marriage only lasted ten years when the couple divorced. Charlotte moved to Pasadena, California where she connected with the Pacific Coast Women’s Press Association, the Economic Club, Ebell Society, The State Council of Women, and the Women’s Alliance. In 1893, Gilman moved back east. She began spending time with her cousin Houghton Gilman. The two became romantically involved and married in 1900.
During her time in California, Gilman became increasingly involved in social reform. She served as a one of California’s representatives at the Suffrage Convention in Washington D.C. Gilman also began writing during this time. Her poem, “Similar Cases” was published in Nationalist magazine. She also authored essays, a novella, poems, and one of her most notable works, her short story, The Yellow Wallpaper. She traveled around lecturing and speaking at public feminist movements. Not only did Gilman Gilman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1934. She arranged her own death and committed suicide by overdosing on chloroform on August 17, 1935.