Charlotte Perkins Gilman has reemerged as a major American literary figure, as evidenced by the republication of many of her stories and novels and an explosion of scholarship on her. This collection of letters, the last significant portion of Gilman's private papers to remain unpublished, fills a crucial gap in Gilman scholarship, providing countless insights into her character through her own words. Denise D. Knight and Jennifer S. Tuttle have transcribed, edited, and contextualized the letters, taken from numerous archives and private collections, and organized them both thematically and chronologically. The Selected Letters of Charlotte Perkins Gilman makes accessible the many intricate narratives created by Gilman's correspondences. The editors have grouped letters according to the significant events in Gilman's life and the important people to whom she wrote, including her friends and family members. Some letters echo her social theories on political topics, while others document Gilman's battles with her private demons, such as depression and chronic poverty. Through this careful collection and contextualization, the editors provide essential facets of Gilman's biography that would otherwise be lost. Taken together, these letters provide valuable insights into Gilman's personality, illuminating the dichotomy between her strong, rational public persona and her vulnerable private side.
Denise D. Knight is Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at the State University of New York at Cortland. Jennifer S. Tuttle is Dorothy M. Healy Chair and Associate Professor of English at the University of New England.