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Stetson, Mrs. Charles W. (ie, Charlotte Perkins Gilman)

Published by J.A. & R.A. Reid, Publishers (1888)

First Edition

Quantity Available: 1

From: Sekkes Consultants (North Dighton, MA, U.S.A.)

Seller Rating: 5-star rating

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About this Item: J.A. & R.A. Reid, Publishers, 1888. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. various (illustrator). 1st Edition. Long unknown to Gilman scholars, Art Gems is now recognized as the pioneering feminist's first book, discussed by Gilman's biographer Cynthia Davis: "The roughly 100 page illustrated volume covers forty-nine artists, each work accompanied by commentary written by the book's author, "Mrs. Charles Walter Stetson," a formality Charlotte may have adopted to capitalize on her husband's better renown in the art world. " (Davis, Charlotte Gilman: A Biography, p.104ff). Prior to her marriage to Stetson in 1884, Gilman had studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, and subsequently supported herself as a painter and a designer of trade cards. At a glance, the volume appears little more than a Victorian American parlor book, with little relation to Gilman's later feminist, socialist and utopian ideologies. But careful examination reveals that, whether she wrote about race, suffrage, or art, Gilman was a sensitive social critic. Her commentary on the images in Art Gems is frequently sarcastic, occasionally biting, especially as regards the representation of women in the artworks she has included. As one critic has noted, discussing Gilman’s interpretative captions: "[Gilman’s] phrasing suggests that she is imposing . her personal disappointment with the pervasive view that "no one would believe" an attractive woman can care deeply about books.We cannot ignore the social purpose and sarcasm behind Gilman’s interpretation or the significance of her frustration with the social construction of domestic femininity: ideological characterizations of the woman were fluid yet persistent" (Catherine J. Golden, Images of the Woman Reader in Victorian British and American Fiction (University Press of Florida, 2003). Folio, olive green cloth, with titling and decorative elements stamped in red and dark green to spine and covers; illustrated with 50 engravings. Mild discoloration and light staining to boards. Very good sound copy with some edge-wear and a few spots to covers. Notably uncommon in the first edition particularly in a well-preserved state; OCLC locates 19 copies. book. Seller Inventory # 274232

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Gems of Art for the Home and: Gilman, Charlotte Perkins

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (Mrs. Charles Walter Stetson)

Published by J.A. & R.A Reid, Providence, RI (1888)

First Edition

Quantity Available: 1

From: Brainerd Phillipson Rare Books (Holliston, MA, U.S.A.)

Seller Rating: 4-star rating

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About this Item: J.A. & R.A Reid, Providence, RI, 1888. An attractively bound folio edition of this uncommon book by the author of "The Yellow Wallpaper." In finely woven ivory cloth boards stamped in red and blue with artwork of sailing ships on the front cover and a classic woman's head on the rear boards. Uniform soiling and light foxing with some occasional staining to the boards. The spine is chipped and frayed at the top and bottom of the spine ends; the corners are worn. The red lettering "Art Gems" (underscored in red) on the spine is dulled but readable. With some clean, vertical tears along the front gutter, the bottom 5" of which has been reglued. The front and rear hinges are tight, and the white endpapers are very clean. There is a closed 4" tear at the bottom of the title page, not affecting text, which has been archivally taped on the verso. With 50 full-page black & white plates, several double folding plates of Artistic Gems selected, described, and critiqued by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. All the plates are present and in very good condition, with a few small closed marginal tears. Some of the more striking plates include: Hero & Leander, King Lear & the Fool, Psyche at the Feet of Venus, The Lord’s Supper, and Pilate. Fascinating art selections with very interesting commentary by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. A scarce copy of Ms. Gilman’s first work. Charlotte Perkins Gilman (alsoCharlotte Perkins Stetson) (1860 – 1935), was a prominent American feminist, sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and non-fiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist and served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Gilman's first book was Art Gems for the Home and Fireside (1888); however, it was her first volume of poetry, In This Our World (1893), a collection of satirical poems, that first brought her recognition. During the next two decades she gained much of her fame with lectures on women's issues, ethics, labor, human rights, and social reform. She often referred to these themes in her fiction. Her best remembered work today is her semi-autobiographical short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" which she wrote after a severe bout of postpartum psychosis. Although it was not the first or longest of her works, it is without question Gilman's most famous piece."The Yellow Wallpaper" became a best-seller of the Feminist Press.The story is about a woman who suffers from mental illness after three months of being closeted in a room by her husband for the sake of her health. She becomes obsessed with the room's revolting yellow wallpaper. Gilman wrote this story to change people's minds about the role of women in society, illustrating how women's lack of autonomy is detrimental to their mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. This story was inspired by her treatment from her first husband. The narrator in the story must do as her husband, who is also her doctor, demands, although the treatment he prescribes contrasts directly with what she truly needs — mental stimulation and the freedom to escape the monotony of the room to which she is confined. "The Yellow Wallpaper" was essentially a response to the doctor who had tried to cure her of her depression through a "rest cure", Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell, and she sent him a copy of the story. Ann J. Lane writes in Herland and Beyond that "Gilman offered perspectives on major issues of gender with which we still grapple: the origins of women's subjugation, the struggle to achieve both autonomy and intimacy in human relationships; the central role of work as a definition of self; new strategies for rearing and educating future generations to create a humane and nurturing environment." (Wikipedia) First Edition with the date of 1888 on the copyright page and no subsequent printings listed. And with No. 24 Custom House Street on the title page. Seller Inventory # 575

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