Sunday 13 June 2010


I've just finished reading charlotte Perkins Gilman's unusual novel Herland that was written in 1915. 'H' passed it on to me having studied it last year and thinking I might be interested.

It tells the story of three young men who hearing about a world inhabited purely by women deep in the Amazon Forest, determine to try and see it for themselves. Once in Herland they discover a utopian society unlike anything imagined.

It's a very quick read only 186 pages and it moves quite fast. Gilman's been compared to a female H.G. Wells in the writing of this novel. At times it seems a little silly but she certainly does make you ask questions about the society that we live today. It made me wonder how we would explain our culture to someone from a totally different one. Someone who was a real outsider or even, say, from another planet....... I've always thought I questioned what was going on around me, but this made me think maybe I should be doing it even more.........
Gilman (1860-1935) was a humanist who wrote on history, anthropology, ethics and philosophy as well as poetry,novels, satire and social commentary.

Another of her novels I really want to read is The Yellow Wallpaper.....I think it's going to be the antithesis of Herland......from utopia to dystopia.......but it sounds intriguing so don't want that to put me off......

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