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What Diantha Did

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Book Overview: 

Diantha Bell is a normal young woman desiring marriage and a home, but also she desires a challenging career in new territory that raises many eyebrows and sets malicious tongues wagging. Her effort to elevate housework and cooking to a regulated and even a scientific business, for the relief of homemakers, is a depiction of the late 19th century movement to promote Domestic Science, or Home Economics, as a means of providing more healthful home life, as well as career paths for women.

Diantha’s business prospers as she shows her excellent gifts for administration, organization, and homemaking. She grows an empire and brings happiness and wholesomeness to every area of endeavor that she carefully attempts.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Its natural for the young to go. We expect it—in time. But you are so young yet—and—well, I had hoped the teaching would satisfy you till Ross was ready."

Diantha sat up straight.

"Mother! can't you see Ross'll never be ready! Look at that family! And the way they live! And those mortgages! I could wait and teach and save a little even with Father always losing money; but I can't see Ross wearing himself out for years and years—I just can't bear it!"

Her mother stroked her fair hair softly, not surprised that her own plea was so lost in thought of the brave young lover.

"And besides," the girl went on "If I waited—and saved—and married Ross—what becomes of you, I'd like to know? What I can't stand is to have you grow older and sicker—and never have any good time in all your life!"

Mrs. Bell smiled tenderly. "You dear child!" she said; as if an affectionate five-year old. . . Read More

Community Reviews

There's only one thing I have to say about this book: "Where have you been all my life?"

P.S. Ross could live a hundred lifetimes and still never deserve Diantha.

This is the first thing of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's I've read other than "The Yellow Wallpaper," and I have to say I enjoyed it. It's a propaganda novel for first-wave feminism, serialized in Gilman's feminist publication The Forerunner in 1910, so I was a bit worried it would be too preachy, or t

Gegen die Konventionen ihrer Zeit und gegen den Willen ihres Verlobten baut die junge Diantha Bell sich nach und nach ein erfolgreiches Unternehmen auf. Eine inspirierende Geschichte, vom mandelbaum verlag wird die deutsche Ausgabe in einem wunderschön gestalteten Umschlag präsentiert. Leider überze

Excelente narración de un feminismo profundo, razonado, cotidiano y real.
La decisión que toma Diantha es llevar hasta el final una tesis que tiene clara la autora: el servicio doméstico que lleva siglos realizando la mujer sin que se le dé opción a elegir otra cosa, ha de profesionalizarse para que

I really enjoyed this book for what it was, an interesting portrayal of a woman who took a chance and did what was necessary to even the playing field between women, the poor and the rich. I'm sad that it's not a true story, but it's a great tribute to women who have worked and dedicated their time

Charlotte Perkins Gilman is an excellent writer. Her stories are interesting and compelling, and her philosophy is whole and promotes the good life.
My goal for 2018 is to read her complete work.

I read this through Mousehold Words, so that I could get some sense of what it would have been like to read this book in serial form, as it was originally published. Perhaps reading it chapter by chapter, over a longish period of time, gave me a different sense of the arc of the story than I would h

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