Charlotte Perkins Gilman was abandoned by her father, a nephew of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Left impoverished with her mother and siblings, Perkins received a very limited education and worked as a governess and an artist. In 1884 she married an artist, Charles Stetson, whom she divorced after the birth of their daughter. "The Yellow Wallpaper" suggests that mental illness may have contributed to the breakup of her marriage, and most likely refers to the severe depression that followed the birth of her child. Gilman moved to California, where she lectured on the status of women and socialism. Additionally, she taught school, ran a boarding house, wrote and edited many feminist and Utopian books. Terminally ill with cancer, she ultimately took her own life.