From Marmee or Offred, writers have been inspired to create some of our most cherished and memorable characters through the lens of motherhood. Here we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite mothers, and depictions of motherhood, in classic literature.
Join us at VINTAGE in a year of challenging ourselves to listen, hear and respond to some of the greatest female writers history has to offer. From Margaret Atwood to Mary Wollstonecraft, revisit your favourites, discover new voices and fill your bookshelf and your year with women’s voices. They matter.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was born in New England, a descendant of the prominent and influential Beecher family. In 1884 she married Charles Water Stetson. After giving birth, Charlotte sank into a deep depression. She entered a sanitarium in Philadelphia to undergo the 'rest cure', a controversial treatment, which forbade any type of physical activity or intellectual stimulation. 1892, she published the now-famous story 'The Yellow Wall-Paper'. In 1898, her most famous nonfiction book, Women and Economics, was published. With its publication, and subsequent translation into seven languages, Gilman earned international acclaim. In 1900, she married her first cousin, George Houghton Gilman. Over the next thirty-five years, she wrote and published hundreds of stories and poems and more than a dozen books. Denise D. Knight is a professor of English at the State University of New York at Courtland, where she specializes in nineteenth-century American Literature. She is author of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Study of the Short Fiction and editor of The Later Poetry of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Abridged Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wall-Paper" and Selected Stories of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. She is also the author of numerous articles, essays, and reviews on nineteenth-century American writers.