Suffrage Songs and Verses

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Suffrage Songs and Verses, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a collection of 25 poems which advocates the suffragette movement and women’s rights. Published in 1911, the poetry anthology includes both famous and lesser-known works such as ‘Women of To-day’, ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ and ‘The Socialist and the Suffragist’, and is a clear inspiration for modern feminist writers and pro-women’s rights campaigners. Now seen as a classic selection of American female poetry and inspirational literature, this forward-thinking anthology examines the role of women in a pre-WW1 patriarchal society – and was one of many works to inspire the 2015 British historical drama film ‘Suffragette’ which starred Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne‑Marie Duff. A selection of Perkins’ work featured in this book were originally published in the book ‘In this our World’ in 1898. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s best known work was her autobiographical-inspired short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, written about her experience of severe postnatal depression, which was made into a 2011 gothic thriller film by Logan Thomas.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, also known as Charlotte Perkins Stetson, was born on 3rd July 1860 in Connecticut, USA. Her early family life was troubled, with her father abandoning his wife and family; a move which strongly influenced her feminist political leanings and advocator of women’s rights. After jobs as a tutor and painter, Perkins – a self-declared humanist and ‘tom boy’ – began to work as a writer of short stories, novels, non-fiction pieces and poetry. Her best-known work is her semi-autobiographical short story, inspired by her post-natal depression, entitled ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ which was published in 1892 and made into a film in 2011. A member of the American National Women's Hall of Fame, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a strong believer that "the domestic environment oppressed women through the patriarchal beliefs upheld by society". A believer in euthanasia, she was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer in January 1932 and chose to take her own life in August 1935, writing in her suicide note that she "chose chloroform over cancer".



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