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 was born in 1860 in Connecticut. She was a feminist and journalist and author of a number of fiction and non-fiction works. These include Women and Economics (1898), Concerning Children (1900), The Home: Its Work and Influence (1903) and Herland (1915). She is best remembered for her short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ which describes the descent of a woman into madness following a ‘rest cure’. Unconventional in many ways, Gilman’s life included two marriages and separation from her nine-year-old daughter, whom she sent to live with her ex-husband and his new wife. She was a Suffragette, a public speaker on social issues and the editor of a number of literary magazines during her career. In 1932, Gilman was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer and, as an advocate of euthanasia, she took the decision to commit suicide. She did this on 17 August 1935 by taking an overdose of chloroform.