By Cynthia Davis
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Additional resources for Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Her Contemporaries: Literary and Intellectual Contexts (Amer Lit Realism & Naturalism)
And never touch pen, brush or pencil as long as you live” (Gilman, Living 182)—drove her to the brink of mental collapse. Ironically, Howells successfully recovered from bouts of an acute but obscure malaise that left him unable to work or study by periodically resorting to the type of rest cure imposed on Gilman with such disastrous results. Gilman wrote that “Mr. Howells told me that I was the only optimist reformer he ever met” (Gilman, “Mr. Howells’ Socialism” 2), but for much of his life this evaluation was also true of Howells himself.
We were in a heavy quan- 16 Cynthia J. Davis dary last night as to what we should do. It is impossible for me to work with them in the studio. They have been here now since Friday morning. Saturday we all went to Sakonnet in the search of rooms fruitlessly—and were held up by a highwayman. —We have spent a half a hundred trying to ¤nd . . [The remainder of this letter is missing]. (Knight, Diaries 2:900–02) Notes 1. Though throughout this volume we have sought to standardize all references to Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman as “Gilman,” in this particular essay, given its predominant focus on the summer of 1888, any reference to her as Gilman while she was Walter Stetson’s wife would violate chronology and sense.
1 Most of the female “moral idiots” who were writing for California newspapers at the time Bierce’s essay appeared belonged to the Paci¤c Coast Women’s Press Association (PCWPA), founded in San Francisco in 1890. The war of words Bierce provoked with the PCWPA may fairly illustrate, if only in the extreme, a pattern of gender con®ict among western writers at the turn of the century. ” In response to a PCWPA Gilman versus Ambrose Bierce 33 member who insisted that there “is no sex in the brain,” Bierce begged to disagree.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Her Contemporaries: Literary and Intellectual Contexts (Amer Lit Realism & Naturalism) by Cynthia Davis