American Realism

Literary Movement 1865-1910

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Gilman's Early Years

  • Born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Had a difficult childhood.
  • Her father, Frederick Beecher Perkins (relative to the writer Harriet Beecher Stowe) abandoned the family, leaving Charlotte's mother to raise two children on her own.
  • Her education suffered greatly due to her often transient family life.

Marriage and Inspiration

  • Married to artist Charles Stetson in 1884 for 10 years
  • Had daughter named Katherine.
  • Experienced a severe depression and underwent a series of unusual treatments called the "Rest Cure".
  • This experience is believed to have inspired her best-known short story "The Yellow Wallpaper"(1892).
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Her Cause: Women's Rights

  • Successful feminist lecturer and intellectual
  • Called for women to gain economic independence
  • One of her greatest works of nonfiction: Women and Economics (1898)
  • Established The Forerunner magazine where she expressed her ideas on women's issues and on social reform
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Her Death

  • Married for the second time in 1900. She wed her cousin George Gilman, and the two stayed together until his death in 1934.
  • The next year she discovered that she had inoperable breast cancer. Committed suicide on August 17, 1935.
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Civil War Art

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