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Herland (Dover Thrift Editions) [Paperback]

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: 4.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Jan 2000 Dover Thrift Editions
Delightfully humorous account of a feminist utopia in which 3 male explorers stumble upon an all-female society isolated in a distant part of the earth. Early 20th-century vehicle for Gilman's then-unconventional views of male-female behavior, motherhood, individuality, sense of community, sexuality, and other topics. Mischievous, ironic approach used to telling effect.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (2 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486404293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486404295
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.2 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A remarkable woman from the US whose influence was international' Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was arguably the most important American author of the women's movement in the early 20th-century. In addition to editing a newspaper, "The Forerunner," she wrote "Women and Economics," one of the first studies of the role of women in the economic system. Other utopias written by Gilman include "Moving the Mountain" in 1911 and "With Her in Ourland." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As relevant now as it was when it was written 28 Aug 2008
I strongly disagree with earlier reviews which imply that this book is only of historical interest. The issues Gilman address are as topical now as when they were first written. I've read this book at least seven times, and I admit that the first few times I was distracted by the blatant bias, the sometimes clumsy style and the clunky plot, but with each subsequent reading I have been more gripped by the ideas that Gilman explores. Yes, it's simplistic. Yes, it's a bit 'obvious' in places. Yes, the characters are sterotyped and wooden. And the role of women-as-mothers is frustratingly restricted. But I can ignore all that and just marvel at the observations on human nature in this improbable - but in many ways admirable - feminist utopia. She addresses issues that are still very much alive today: feminism (of course), the environment / conservation, violence, socialisation, love, life, death and the universe...

And to top it all, it's funny.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Land of Her 27 Oct 2008
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), American feminist and writer, best known for her seminal work Women and Economics (1898) and The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), based on her own experience of being treated for depression.

Herland was originally published as a serial in The Forerunner during 1945. It did not see book form until 1979. In the novel, Gilman envisages a utopian society comprised entirely of women who reproduce through parthenogenesis. Gilman was emphatic in constructing Herland's social structure as having grown out of the presence of women only, rather than simply the absence of men. Unlike her other works, Herland was largely forgotten until its book publication in 1979, when it was then acclaimed as a fresh and funny satire with insights that still speak to the condition of American women, even in now more emancipated times.

Herland was written against the background of campaigns for equal rights for women that were going on during the early years of the 20th century and is a call for social equality. The utopian nation of Herland demonstrates the capabilities, greatness, and potential of womanhood, and not simply as inferior to masculinity. The three male protagonists are, at first, suspicious of Herland, and assume a society run by women would be chaotic and disorganised, believing that women cannot survive without their male-halves.

Jeff, Van, and Terry represent the achievements of male constructed civilisation, which is full of suffering, war, disease, and other imperfections. The fact that the female inhabitants of Herland can reproduce asexually, and that their utopia far surpasses anything men have built, implies that women do not need men and can surpass them.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping utopia 4 July 2001
Narrated from a male perspective, this altenative utopia depicts a nation free from man-made harm. If the drive of feminism seems to be slowing down,this celebration of the ability of women will reignite the spark in any woman's mind. Read it and then make your male friends read it. Perkins-Gilman manages to subtly argue a point with no hint of preaching. Splendid.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great! 30 April 2014
By Chris
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well book at a really good price. I am very happy with this purchase. Very happy !
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 24 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An early depiction of all female utopia, an interesting , fast and entertaining read.
Funny and mischievous too - Should be read by every one! highly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 24 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enlightening. A clear, paradoxical, view of how women are subjugated in our world. Highly recommended - the story might describe the impossible, but in doing so mirrors sad reality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Utopian society 5 Sep 2013
I have to say normally when I read utopian fiction they come across as a horrible dystopia. But this one was okay. One of the things that impressed me the most about this, particularly considering that it was written in 1915 was how much of gender as a social construction she understood. While having read SO many other books written around the same time that discuss the "nature" of women this book for the most part was spot on. It was an interesting look at not only how gender gets constructed by why. In a society without sexual reproduction it not only made the men reconsider what it meant to be a woman but it also made them rethink what it meant to be a man.

The story was basically a description of the society and three different reactions to it. One of the best parts was when the women said that one of the men had to be expelled for "demanding his husbandly duty". In other words recognising rape in marriage and recognising this was not ok. The only problem with it was while it removed a lot of gender stereotypes the entire focus of the women's society was on being mothers and everything was based around a model of motherhood. Granted all the women didn't raise their children. But they did all have them, unless they were defective in some way.

Still it was interesting and it some amazing quotes and passages. Once again I found myself wanting to read more of this author's work
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book
I agree with Janet Raynor and Sniffynixon...this book is "as relevant today as when it was written".
Well worth a five star rating. But don't take my word for it!
Published 18 months ago by Molly Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
This book is brilliant and I'd highly recommend it. The story is engaging and offers the reader an adventure in itself! Read more
Published on 25 Jan 2011 by kt1982
3.0 out of 5 stars Sheri Tepper does it better
That's not to say it's not worth reading but the writing style is definitely popular late Victorian (think Wells rather than Hardy or James) and I'm not quite convinced by the... Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2010 by Joyeuse
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, simple, womans Utopian fiction
This an affordable edition of a short piece of womans utopian fiction. As a vehicle of ideas it has only one which it presents clearly, ie that women and men have different values... Read more
Published on 8 April 2009 by Lark
3.0 out of 5 stars Of Mainly Historical Interest
I'll be upfront - I did initially add this book to my basket partly to make up a 15 quid free delivery package - well, it also had been on my wish list for some time. Read more
Published on 4 July 2007 by Roger Cawkwell
3.0 out of 5 stars Of Mainly Historical Interest
I bought this book at least a little out of a sense of duty; that I ought to read it. And having read it, to be honest, I feel much the same. Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2007 by Roger Cawkwell
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