CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN'S PIONEERING "VOICE OF 'HUMAN FEMINISM'": FIRST EDITION OF VOLUME VI OF HER JOURNAL, THE FORERUNNER, FEATURING THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF HER CONTROVERSIAL NOVEL, HERLAND, AND THE ENTIRE TWELVE ISSUES OF 1915, IN ORIGINAL CLOTH
GILMAN, Charlotte Perkins. (Herland) The Forerunner. A Monthly Magazine Volume VI. Nos 1-12. New York: Charlton, January-December 1915. Twelve issues in one volume. Quarto, original pictorial brown cloth. $4800.
First edition of the penultimate volume in Gilman's entirely authored, edited and published journal, The Forerunner—"the most astonishing project of her life"—the very scarce complete Volume VI featuring the first appearance of her utopian novel, Herland, a beautiful copy in original cloth.
"Historians chronicling the theoretical underpinnings of today's feminism invariably focus on Charlotte Perkins Gilman."Forerunner, launched by her in November 1909 and published monthly until December 1916, was "Gilman's voice of 'human feminism.' It was one of the few women's magazines published in the early 20th century that offered a radical feminist perspective on the nation" (Endres and Lueck, Women's Periodicals, 98-105). Entirely authored, edited and published by Gilman, Forerunner is "the most astonishing project of her life… an exuberant expression of literary creativity and moral passion" (Allen, Building Domestic Liberty, 49). Volume VI of Forerunner is particularly significant, for it features the first appearance of her novel, Herland. With this and related fiction, "Gilman opened a new chapter in the utopian literary corpus" (Doskow, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Utopian Novels, 27). In the first issue of 1916, Forerunner's final year, Gilman printed the sequel, With Her in Ourland. "Forerunner and the Herland/Ourland saga, "reflect not only Gilman's private trials and experiences, but also her immersion in a variety of lively intellectual currents" (Deegan and Hill, With Her in Ourland, 9). "Gilman wanted her fiction to reinforce the individual aspirations of women. She hoped the struggles of her imaginary heroines would encourage her female readers to take themselves seriously as autonomous actors on the stage of history" (Allen, 145). This pioneering volume also features her writings on birth control, the politics and psychology of women's clothing, freedom of speech, public education, marriage and motherhood, and much more. This revolutionary feminist utopia was not issued separately in book form until 1979. Twelve issues, January to December 1915, with contents at rear: in publisher's original cloth; as issued without dust jacket. Scharnhorst 651. Small inkstamps to one page and fore-edge.
A fine copy.