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An Ordinary MarriageThe World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia$
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Katherine Pickering Antonova

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199796991

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199796991.001.0001

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Domesticity and Motherhood

Domesticity and Motherhood

(p.136) 7 Domesticity and Motherhood
An Ordinary Marriage

Katherine Pickering Antonova

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares the Chikhachevs’ gendered roles at home to Andrei’s journalism about “the importance of the mistress [khoziaika] of the house,“ examining the interplay between rhetoric and reality in the Chikhachevs’ reception of the western European ideology of separate spheres and domesticity. The chapter argues that Andrei’s adoption of a veneer of separate spheres in his rhetoric while simultaneously urging his readers to teach their daughters to be estate managers suggests the limits to which western domestic ideology was applicable in provincial landowning society as well as the readiness with which gentry men, at least, casually employed the terms of that ideology. The chapter also addresses the apparent absence of motherhood in Natalia’s written legacy, and argues that motherhood was interpreted in this family largely as meeting the materials needs of the whole family and their dependents.

Keywords:   motherhood, domesticity, separate spheres, masculinity, femininity, gender, women, reception of ideas

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