The Yellow Wallpaper / Edition 1

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Overview

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was America's leading feminist intellectual of the early twentieth century. The Yellow Wall-Paper and Other Stories makes available the fullest selection of her short fiction ever printed. In addition to her pioneering masterpiece, "The Yellow Wall-Paper" (1890), which draws on her own experience of depression and insanity, this edition features her Impress 'story studies', works in the manner of writers such as James, Twain, and Kipling.

These stories, together with other fiction from her neglected California period (1890-5), throw new light on Gilman as a practitioner of the art of fiction. In her Forerunner stories she repeatedly explores the situation of the 'woman of fifty' and inspires reform by imagining workable solutions to a range of personal and social problems.

The introduction to this edition places Gilman in the cultural and historical context of the American divided self, her Beecher heritage, and her contribution to the female Gothic.

A woman gradually suffers a mental breakdown as a result of confinement and denial of her creative energies by her husband.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" was first published in 1892; since its republication in 1973, it has entered the canon of American literature and generated extensive critical commentary. This edition of the story is accompanied by a generous selection of cultural and historical documents, among them: excerpts from 19th- century advice manuals for young women and mothers; medical texts discussing the nature of women's sexuality; social reform literature concerning women's rights, the working classes, and immigration; and excerpts from periodicals, diaries, and writers' notebooks. Distributed by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312132927
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 1/15/1998
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 377
  • Lexile: 1390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (July 3, 1860 - August 17, 1935) was a prominent American feminist, sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist during a time when her accomplishments were exceptional for women, and she served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Her best remembered work today is her semi-autobiographical short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" which she wrote after a severe bout of postpartum psychosis.
Gilman was born on July 3, 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut, to Mary Perkins (formerly Mary Fitch Westcott) and Frederick Beecher Perkins. She had only one brother, Thomas Adie, who was fourteen months older, because a physician advised Mary Perkins that she might die if she bore other children. During Charlotte's infancy, her father moved out and abandoned his wife and children, leaving them in an impoverished state. Since their mother was unable to support the family on her own, the Perkinses were often in the presence of aunts on her father's side of the family, namely Isabella Beecher Hooker, a suffragist, Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom's Cabin) and Catharine Beecher.

At the age of five, Gilman taught herself to read because her mother was ill. Her mother was not affectionate with her children. To keep them from getting hurt as she had been, she forbade her children to make strong friendships or read fiction. In her autobiography, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Gilman wrote that her mother showed affection only when she thought her young daughter was asleep. Although she lived a childhood of isolated, impoverished loneliness, she unknowingly prepared herself for the life that lay ahead by frequently visiting the public library and studying ancient civilizations on her own. Additionally, her father's love for literature influenced her, and years later he contacted her with a list of books he felt would be worthwhile for her to read.

Much of Gilman's youth was spent in Providence, Rhode Island. What friends she had were mainly male, and she was unashamed to call herself a "tomboy." She attended seven different public schools, and was a correspondent student of the Society to Encourage Studies at Home but studied only until she was fifteen.

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Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
List of Illustrations
Pt. 1 The Yellow Wallpaper: The Complete Text 1
Introduction: Cultural and Historical Background 3
Chronology of Gilman's Life and Times 29
A Note on the Text 40
The Yellow Wallpaper [1892 New England Magazine Edition] 41
Pt. 2 The Yellow Wallpaper: Cultural Contexts 61
1 Conduct Literature and Motherhood Manuals 63
A Treatise on Domestic Economy 65
The Ugly-Girl Papers 74
Psycho-Physical Culture 90
"What Shall We Do with the Mothers?" 95
Winsome Womanhood: Familiar Talks on Life and Conduct 102
How to Win: A Book for Girls 110
The Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs 120
2 Invalid Women 130
Wear and Tear, or Hints for the Overworked 133
"Nervousness and Its Influence on Character" 142
"The Evolution of the Rest Treatment" 144
Maternity; A Book for Every Wife and Mother 150
The Household Monitor of Health 155
The Ladies' Guide in Health and Disease 157
"Puerperal Mania" 173
The Puerperal Diseases 180
3 Sexuality, Race, and Social Control 189
1873 Comstock Law 192
Traps for the Young 195
Address to the National Congress of Mothers, March 13, 1905 203
"The Causes of Race Superiority" 210
American Nervousness 214
"Sexual Perversion in the Female 229
"Sexual Inversion in Women" 236
Psychopathia Sexualis 247
Pure Sociology 252
"Parasitism and Civilised Vice" 259
4 Movements for Social Change 278
The Word 281
Looking Backward: 2000-1887 286
Twenty Years at Hull-House 297
Theory of the Leisure Class 311
Women and Economics 317
"Think Husbands Aren't Mainstays" 325
"Dr. Clair's Place" 327
The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman 334
5 Literary Responses and Literary Culture 345
"Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper?" 347
On the Reception of "The Yellow Wallpaper" 349
Criticism and Fiction 352
The Notebooks 362
The Diary of Alice James 364
"The Story of an Hour" 366
Selected Bibliography 370
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2011

    Intriguing short story

    This is one of my absolute favorite short stories! I love following the narrator on her slow decline to insanity as she obsesses about the yellow wallpaper...

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    A True Horror Story

    I had forgotten about this story, which I read many years ago and loved. It is a masterpiece of psychological horror. Will probably dream of yellow wallpaper and a creeping woman tonight! *shudder*

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Madness

    There are some really good stories about the descent into madness. This is one of them. A relly fun story that gets you to thepoint quickly. Not a long novel. A short story that packs a big punch.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Not my cup of tea

    Really?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Nope

    Strange. Not worth rereading

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    AHS

    I only read this because it was referenced in American Horror Story, season one. Short story, very weird and written great!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Love to read

    I read this short story in Lit class in college this past semester. It was amazing! Will not spoil it for those who have not read it, but I am glad the wife found an escape, of sorts. Look onYouTube, there is a video of this as well but watch it after you have read the story!


    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Short...but GREAT

    Very well-written!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 27, 2011

    Not sure

    I read this i english I honors class and it was weird. Twisted, but worth 99 cents i guess

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    fast read

    it was a fast read, lost me a few times, glad i read it, was enteresting enuf

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2003

    a master piece....im not so sure

    i appreciated this book but never actually enjoyed it. the metaphor of the wall paper was very clever and abstract and it captured my attention, but in retrospect on a whole it was not very interesting in terms of it being a book and suposidly having a plot. i wouldnt be able to read it for pleasure and take it superficially as a story because i dont feel it is one. It expresses mental illness in an extremely unique manner and gives you the perspective of an outsider but lacks substance. I was thankfull it is only 30 pages long and even the narative doesntly sway me. But i supose it has to be taken into considersation that not only am i not in the era it was written in, or perhaps the target audience, but more importanly have never experienced post traumatic stress or marital repression, so should i have enjoyed it?or should any one? It seems to sum up the authours feelings briliantly (i discovered that this was written from experience)and express how helpless she felt, but not the kind of book you would read casually.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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