A Woman's Kingdom: Noblewomen and the Control of Property in Russia, 1700-1861 by Michelle Lamarche MarreseA Woman's Kingdom: Noblewomen and the Control of Property in Russia, 1700-1861 by Michelle Lamarche Marrese

A Woman's Kingdom: Noblewomen and the Control of Property in Russia, 1700-1861

byMichelle Lamarche Marrese

Hardcover | June 27, 2002

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In A Woman's Kingdom, Michelle Lamarche Marrese explores the development of Russian noblewomen's unusual property rights. In contrast to women in Western Europe, who could not control their assets during marriage until the second half of the nineteenth century, married women in Russia enjoyed the right to alienate and manage their fortunes beginning in 1753. Marrese traces the extension of noblewomen's right to property and places this story in the broader context of the evolution of private property in Russia before the Great Reforms of the 1860s. Historians have often dismissed women's property rights as meaningless. In the patriarchal society of Imperial Russia, a married woman could neither work nor travel without her husband's permission, and divorce was all but unattainable. Yet, through a detailed analysis of women's property rights from the Petrine era through the abolition of serfdom in 1861, Marrese demonstrates the significance of noblewomen's proprietary power. She concludes that Russian noblewomen were unique not only for the range of property rights available to them, but also for the active exercise of their legal prerogatives.A remarkably broad source base provides a solid foundation for Marrese's conclusions. These sources comprise more than eight thousand transactions from notarial records documenting a variety of property transfers, property disputes brought to the Senate, noble family papers, and a vast memoir literature. A Woman's Kingdom stands as a masterful challenge to the existing, androcentric view of noble society in Russia before Emancipation.
Title:A Woman's Kingdom: Noblewomen and the Control of Property in Russia, 1700-1861Format:HardcoverDimensions:296 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.39 inPublished:June 27, 2002Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801439116

ISBN - 13:9780801439117

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Editorial Reviews

"In a richly researched and elegantly argued account, Michelle Lamarche Marrese shows how the expansion of Russian noblewomen's rights to own land and control its disposition formed part of a larger progressive agenda: the protection of private property in general and the rule of law. Marrese's book is essential reading not only for specialists in women's studies, but also for any scholar interested in Russian law and society."—Eve Levin, Ohio State University