Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Pp. xi-xix in Families, Marriages, and Children, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Edited by Michael R. Hill. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publications.


Charlotte Perkins Gilman died in 1935, but she remains today a provocative sociological writer; she makes us think, argue, and question our preconceptions, especially with regard to marriage and family. Several posthumous volumes of Gilman’s work have been produced and it has been my pleasure to help present three of Gilman’s (1997, 2002, 2004) major sociological writings to new generations of readers in English. As noted in the preface, it has been a special honor to acquaint an audience of Italian readers with a selection of her powerful writings on families, marriages, and children.1 The present volume joins a small but growing collection of translations of Gilman’s works into Italian. Gilman’s classic work, Women and Economics, was early translated into Italian (1902), and is followed recently by translations of The Yellow Wallpaper (1976), Herland (1980), and a collection of tales (2008). An intriguing digital experiment is the new Italian thesaurus edition of Our Androcentric Culture, or The Man-Made World (2008). A recent book-length exposition, in Italian, on Gilman’s life and work is provided by Laura Moschini (2006). My goal for Italian readers, in selecting and editing the exemplars in the present volume, was to provide each reader with insightful and often trenchant examples of Gilman’s sociological analyses and judgments about one of our most central social institutions: the family. Now, thanks to Transactions Publishers, these lively and insightful selections are also made more readily available to English readers.