179 W. 76th St. New York.
April 15th 1902
Dr. Aletta Jacobs,
Oct. 30th 1902
This letter I started to write as you see last April; being even then conscience-stricken at my rude neglect to acknowledge the books you so kindly sent me, and now your letter of October 4th adds to my regret.
Will you kindly attribute it to my weak head--I have been a sufferer from cerebral-neurasthenia for some eighteen years and believe me not really ungrateful or neglectful of my friends.
Your translation is a great
pleasure to me. It stands in my bookcase with the German and Italian editions[A], and I regard them much as an illiterate mother does her educated children--with affectionate admiration and respect.
A French one is being made by another friend in Holland;[B] Frau Daum is the name I think; but I have just been searching in vain for her address. Seems to me it was Amsterdam.
I shall hope to meet Commandant Vanderloo again and hear from him more of you. Your accounts of the reviews of my book are most-gratifying. I will send you a copy of Concerning Children,[C] to use as you like--it is always
a pleasure to me to have the work spread. La Contessa Carolina Pironti, my Italian translator, astonished me very much by sending quite a sum of money as my share of the publication. I judge you have had no pecuniary return worth dividing--which does not surprise me at all. I had not expected any--books like that are not profitable. Another big one is coming soon--on Work. And another after that on the Home. I am gaining in health quite perceptibly now; and am exceedingly happy and comfortable in my new home. I wish you might visit me some time here. Meanwhile I shall hope to see you at the
Quinquennial [of the International Council of Women] in Berlin in 1904[D]; and possibly I may then get to Holland also. I should greatly like to--it is one of the countries the world loves and honors.
I am not sure of coming to the International but intend to if possible.
Thanking you sincerely for your interest in my work and for sending me the very impressive Catalogue[E]--as well as the translation.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
C. Concerning Children was first published in Boston by Small, Maynard, & Co, in 1900. It sets forth Gilman's thinking, radical for its time, on the social and economic construction of motherhood. She proposes developing creativity in children rather than focusing on obedience, opposes corporal punishment, and suggests forms of shared child-rearing which would liberate women to pursue careers.
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D. This conference was held June 6-11, 1904 in Berlin and Gilman gave a plenary address in the final meeting of the event. See Document 11 below. After the conference Gilman prepared a description of the event for American readers. See Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Growing Power of Woman: Impressions of the Congress in Berlin," Booklovers Magazine (1904), 385-90.
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E. Gilman refers to the hefty catalog, published in French in 1900, of the library of books, articles and pamphlets about women assembled by Jacobs's feminist husband Carel Victor Gerritsen before their marriage. See the Bibliography for this document project for the catalog's full citation. Though the couple subsequently added some items together, the core collection is Gerritsen's. Years after his death Jacobs sold the collection; it is now housed at the University of Kansas and is available in many research libraries in both microfilm and online editions.
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