Mary's Library

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What Diantha Did

Today I’ve been reading a book recommended to me by my pal Lynne, who lives in Devon.

We all know, or at least know of, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The book I’ve just read is her novel, written in 1909, called What Diantha Did.

Diantha is engaged to a storekeeper in a small town in California. He is not a success and his mother and four sisters, who know not the value of a dollar, are spending money faster than he can earn it. He and Diantha will be unable to marry for many years.

Diantha decides to do something about it. She gets a job as a cook and maid and is very good at it. But she has plans. She wants to make housekeeping scientific, to give dignity to the labor of household domestic laborers, and to make life easier for the wives who are worn out from the hard work of keeping house.

This is not a great book. It is didactic and some will find tedious the author's descriptions of the many tasks that must be done in an average household and what they are worth. But I found it most interesting.

I read it on line by subscribing to .


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