"This collection offers a treasure trove of primary sources of interest to students of women's history. Carefully introduced and annotated, these documents illustrate the diversity of Russian women's lives." -Barbara Alpern Engel
"There is no other work that offers such a wide variety of documents and such a successful combination of literary and historical materials." -Ann Hibner Koblitz
This rich anthology of source materials makes available for the first time in any language a multitude 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 The selections are drawn from a wide variety of documents, published and unpublished, including memoirs, diaries, legal codes, correspondence, short fiction, poetry, ethnographic observations, and folklore. Primacy is given to sources produced by women and previously unavailable in English translation. Organized 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.