Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (1860–1935) By Moore, P. S.
Charlotte Anne Perkins was born in 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut, to a family of preachers, abolitionists, suffragists and literary luminaries. In 1884 she compromised her youthful dreams of ‘world service’ for marriage, which she later skewered as unpaid ‘domestic service’. The constraints and demands of married life, compounded by postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter, contributed to her suffering from severe depression. In 1887 she was sent to S. Weir Mitchell for his famous ‘rest cure’—a regime of physical and mental passivity that, she said, nearly drove her mad.