One of the leading intellectuals of first-wave feminism, Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1860-1935] was a prolific socialist writer and lecturer. Nearly forgotten in the years following her death, she has been the subject of renewed interest and appreciation in recent decades. Drawing from her previous two-volume edition of The Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, editor Denise D. Knight here makes available a streamlined version of Gilman's extensive personal diaries and journals, with representative selections from various periods of her life.
Included in this single volume are entries written between 1 January 1879 and 12 March 1935. These selections illustrate Gilman's development from a restless, high-spirited, and opinionated young woman to a mature, internationally-known author and lecturer whose words touched thousands as she worked to effect social change.
The Gilman we see in these diaries is spunky and spirited, sensitive and smart, ordinary and extraordinary, sometimes confident and determined, other times despondent and confused. At last readers can see for themselves how one of the foremothers of American feminism struggles with the challenges of domesticity and independence, family and friends, work and love.
Denise D. Knight, in editing The Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, has provided what, from now on, will be an essential tool for all Gilman scholars: she has performed an invaluable service.
Denise D. Knight is Professor of English at the State University of New York at Cortland. She is the editor of The Diaries of Chalotte Perkins Gilman [Virginia].