Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s provocative utopian novel Herland, first published in 1915, tells its story through the observations of three male explorers who discover a land inhabited solely by women; the women reproduce through parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). Initially skeptical, the explorers come to realize that Herland has evolved into an ideal, cooperative, matriarchal societyfertile, peaceful, and cleanby selectively reproducing the women’s best attributes. As the explorers study Herland culture, they also rethink their own.
This edition reproduces the text originally published in The Forerunner in 1915, including several passages omitted from other editions. Stories, poetry, and nonfiction writing by Gilman on topics such as birth control, capital punishment, and eugenics provide a rich context for the novel. Materials originally published alongside Herland in 1915, many of which have never before been republished, are also included, as is an excerpt from the sequel, With Her in Ourland.
About the Author
Beth Sutton-Ramspeck is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University at Lima and the editor of the Broadview Edition of Mary Augusta Ward’s Marcella.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Introduction Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Brief Chronology A Note on the Text
- “Five Girls” (1894) “The Unnatural Mother” (1895) “When I Was a Witch” (1910) “Bee Wise” (1913)
- “She Walketh Veiled and Sleeping” (1889) “Females” (1892)
- From Women and Economics (1898) From A Woman’s Utopia (1907) From “Effect of Literature upon the Mind” (1912) “Imprisonment for Life” (1912) “As to Parthenogenesis and Humanity” (1916) From His Religion and Hers (1923) From The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1935)
Materials That Appeared in The Forerunner in 1915, alongside Herland
- “Standardizing Towns” (February 1915) “War-Maids and War-Widows” (March 1915) From The Dress of Women (May 1915) “Birth Control” (July 1915) “Full Motherhood” (October 1915) “Having Faith in Evolution” (November 1915) “Looking Across” (December 1915)
From With Her in Ourland (1916), the Sequel to Herland
Appendix A: Travel and Nature Writing
- From George Alsop, Character of the Province of Mary-Land (1666)
- From John Muir, The Yosemite (1912)
Appendix B: Social Theories Addressed in Herland
- Edward Bellamy, “Socialism and Nationalism” (1894)
- From Josephine Tozier, “The Montessori Schools in Rome” (1911)
- Sir Almroth E. Wright, “Suffrage Fallacies” (1912)
Appendix C: Scientific and Eugenic Theories Addressed in Herland
- From Herbert Spencer, Social Statics (1851)
- Francis Galton, “Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope, and Aims” (1904)
- From Lester Frank Ward, “Our Better Halves” (1888)