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Russian Women, 1698-1917: Experience and Expression, an Anthology of Sources

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Russian Women, 1698-1917: Experience and Expression, an Anthology of Sources


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“Women can do everything, men can do the rest.” “Between a woman’s ‘yes’ and a woman’s ‘no,’ it’s hard to pass a needle.” “What goes in with mother’s milk goes out with the soul.” – Russian proverbs This rich anthology of source materials makes available for the first time in any language an extensive variety of primary sources on the lives of Russian women from the reign of Peter the Great to the Bolshevik revolution. The selections are drawn from a wide variety of sources, published and unpublished, including memoirs, diaries, legal codes, correspondence, short fiction, poetry, ethnographic observations, and folklore, with primacy given to sources produced by women and previously unavailable in English translation. Organised thematically, the documents focus on women’s family life, work and schooling, public activism, creative self-expression, and sexuality and spirituality, as well as on the cultural ideals and legal framework which constrained women of all social classes. Introductions to chapters and to individual selections provide context for the sources and highlight both the continuities and changes that occurred in Russian women’s lives over time. This compendium serves as a unique guide to the social, economic, political, and cultural history of women in Imperial Russia. The volume includes illustrations, a chronology, a glossary of Russian terms, a map, and a guide to further reading. Russian Women: Experience and Expression is an ideal collection for classroom use in Russian history, literature, and culture courses and in comparative courses in women’s history.

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