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Extra info for Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Her Contemporaries: Literary and Intellectual Contexts (Amer Lit Realism & Naturalism)

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The war of words Bierce provoked with the PCWPA may fairly illustrate, if only in the extreme, a pattern of gender con®ict among western writers at the turn of the century. ” In response to a PCWPA Gilman versus Ambrose Bierce 33 member who insisted that there “is no sex in the brain,” Bierce begged to disagree. 2 Bierce’s remarks outraged many women, of course, especially those who belonged to the PCWPA. Virtually all of the members whom Bierce lambasted in the pages of the Examiner week after week are forgotten, with one notable exception: Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman.

It may be that these names were imported from the hapless Noblesse Oblige. They would continue to mean a good deal to the coauthors, who would refer to each other as “Amelia” (Grace) and “Sophronia” (Charlotte) sporadically throughout their correspondence for the remainder of their lives. 2 When the Marriage of True Minds Admits Impediments Charlotte Perkins Gilman and William Dean Howells Joanne B. Karpinski At ¤rst glance, the intellectual minuet between Charlotte Perkins Gilman and William Dean Howells seems vulnerable to Gertrude Stein’s complaint about Gilman’s onetime home of Oakland, California: “There is no there, there” (Stein 298).

Taking into account its defensively self-congratulatory tone, this explanation seems essentially valid with respect to Howells’s unwillingness to publish Gilman’s work himself or to strongly advocate its publication by his powerful friends. It was undoubtedly easier for Howells to praise Gilman’s opinions than to take responsibility for them. Nevertheless, Howells’s public votes of con¤dence in Gilman’s writing enhanced its credibility and gave it a broader forum than it had achieved on its own.

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