Dream and Reality of Russian Provincial Young Ladies, 1700-1850

Olga E. Glagoleva


The poet did not undertake to find out what the young girl's thoughts and dreams were, so I will try to reconstruct them. Fantastic as they sometimes are, dreams nevertheless reflect the ideals predominant in society and express people's attitudes toward personal happiness and social well-being. The realities of life inevitably underlie them. Individual circumstances, as well as many social, economic, and cultural factors, have a bearing upon the relationship between a person's dreams and reality. Closely interwoven, they make up a sort of microcosm that may be balanced or conflicted. Focusing primarily on the intellectual side of this microcosm, I will consider the aspirations of Russian provintsial 'nye baryshni (provincial young ladies) and their everyday life over the 150-year period after Peter the Great's reforms.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/cbp.1999.113


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