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Most editions have been based on the 1892 New England Magazine publication rather than the handwritten manuscript at Radcliffe College. Publication of the unedited manuscript in 1994 sparked controversy over which of the two was definitive. Since then, scholars have discovered half a dozen parent texts for later twentieth-century printings, including William Dean Howells’s version from 1920 and the 1933 Golden Book version.
While traditional critical editions gather evidence and make an argument for adopting one text as preferable to others,“The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Dual-Text Critical Edition, edited by Shawn St. Jean, offers both manuscript and magazine versions, critically edited and printed in parallel for the first time. New significance appears in such facets as the magazine’s accompanying illustrations, its lineation and paragraphing, Gilman’s choice of pronouns, and her original handwritten ending.
This critical edition of “The Yellow Wall-Paper” includes a full and nontraditional apparatus, making it easy for students and scholars to study the more than four hundred variants between the two texts. Four new essays, written especially for this volume, explore the implications of this multitext model.