Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote "The Yellow Wall-Paper" as an article that
first appeared in the New England Magazine in January, 1892, and was
reprinted in this separate edition seven years later. It tells a largely
autobiographical story of a woman who has a nervous breakdown after childbirth,
is confined by her physician and husband in order that she have complete rest,
is driven mad by hallucinations of a woman imprisoned behind the wallpaper in
her room, and who frees herself by tearing down the paper.
After attending the International Socialist and Labor Congress in England
in 1896 as one of the few female speakers, Gilman returned to the United States
and published Women and Economics, reviewed by the Nation as "the most
significant utterance on the subject since Mill's Subjection of Women."
Her argument did not blame men, but pointed to a gradual change in society from
a time when the sexes were equal to a time when women had become economic
slaves. Despite recognition of her theories in the early years of the
20th century, she was largely forgotten until Women and
Economics was republished in 1966, placing her in the line of important
people in the history of women's rights.