Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Published: 1915
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, published in 1915, is a pioneering feminist novel that unveils a hidden civilization of women in a remote, isolated land. Three male explorers discover Herland and learn about its unique society, where women have evolved without the influence of men. The story delves into themes of gender, motherhood, and societal constructs as the explorers navigate their interactions with the women of Herland. The novel presents a thought-provoking examination of gender roles, cultural differences, and the potential for a harmonious society. As tensions arise between the explorers and the Herland women, the narrative explores the complexities of cross-cultural understanding and challenges conventional norms. Herland remains a powerful exploration of gender dynamics and societal possibilities, as seen through the eyes of both the explorers and the remarkable women of this enigmatic land.
Excerpt from Herland Online Book
This is written from memory, unfortunately. If I could have brought with me the material I so carefully prepared, this would be a very different story. Whole books full of notes, carefully copied records, firsthand descriptions, and the pictures—that’s the worst loss. We had some bird’s-eyes of the cities and parks; a lot of lovely views of streets, of buildings, outside and in, and some of those gorgeous gardens, and, most important of all, of the women themselves.
Nobody will ever believe how they looked. Descriptions aren’t any good when it comes to women, and I never was good at descriptions anyhow. But it’s got to be done somehow; the rest of the world needs to know about that country.
About Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was a world-renowned writer, lecturer and activist. She was ahead of her time in advocating for the rights of women and their access to education, economic opportunities and political power. Her writings, lectures and activism had an immense impact on the feminist movement that followed her death.
Gilman is best known for her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” which focuses on a woman suffering from mental illness who is prescribed bed rest by her physician husband. The story has been celebrated as a powerful critique of Victorian gender roles and the medical profession’s treatment of women struggling with mental health issues. Her other works included poems, novels, short stories and nonfiction essays about topics ranging from feminism to socialism to psychology. Find out more about Charlotte Perkins Gilman at sevenov.com.