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124 ENGELGARDT, Anna (1838–1903) Russian writer, publicist, translator and activist in the Russian women’s movement. Anna Engelgardt (nee Makarova) was born on 2 June 1838 in the village of Aleksandrovka in the Kostroma province of the Russian Empire. Her father, Nikolai Makarov (1810–1890), was a member of the gentry and owned a small estate. In addition to being a famous Russian lexicographer —author of several dictionaries— he was also a writer, composer and actor. Anna’s mother, Alexandra Makarova (nee Boltina, data unknown), died when Anna was six years old. In 1845, wishing to give his daughter a comprehensive education, Nikolai Makarov sent Anna to the Catherine Institute in Moscow (the only Russian educational institution for girls in the 1840s). In 1853, Anna graduated from the Institute with honors and returned to her father’s estate. She felt dissatisfied with the knowledge she had acquired, feeling that it was practically inapplicable. In order to expand it, she turned to the books in the family library (mainly European writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) and learned English, French and German. A student who spent his holidays in the neighboring estate acquainted Anna with the ideas of Alexander Hertsen, Nikolai Chernyshevskii, Nikolai Dobroliubov (the famous Russian publicist and literary critic) and Charles Darwin, whose works convinced her that only a thorough knowledge of contemporary ideas could give her social status equal with men. It was then that her life’s credo was formed: “I only love two things: labor and knowledge” (Engelgardt 1910, 544). In 1859, she married Alexander Engelgardt (1832–1893), a young ‘scientist-artilleryman,’ graduate from Mikhailovskoe Artillery College, and later a doctor of chemistry. They had three children: Mikhail (b. 1861), Vera (b. 1863) and Nikolai (b. 1867), all of whom became writers. The 1860s saw the rise of a democratic movement and the emergence of the Russian women’s liberation movement. Following her life’s credo, Anna Engelgardt began to participate actively in public and cultural life. In 1862, she began the practical application of her ideas on women’s emancipation. In that year, Engelgardt became the first upper-class Russian woman to work ‘publicly’ as a shop assistant, in a recently founded bookstore in St Petersburg with strong connections to revolutionary under- 125 ground circles. In Russian patriarchal society of the 1860s with its caste prejudices, Engelgardt’s activities were considered scandalous by members of her own social class. In 1863, Engelgardt was one of the founders of the first Russian Zhenskaia Izdatel’skaia Artel’ (Women’s Publishing Cooperative), which aimed to give women the opportunity to earn their own income and gain financial independence. At the same time, the first of Engelgardt’s translations into Russian appeared. Altogether, she translated more than seventy novels, essays and stories (including works by Zola, de Maupassant, Rousseau, Flaubert, Collins, Stevenson and Elliot). She became well known for her collection of pedagogical essays, Ocherki Institutskoi Zhizni Bylogo Vremeni (Essays on the institutional life of bygone times, 1870) and as the compiler of the Polnyi Nemetsko–Russkii Slovar’ (Complete German–Russian dictionary, 1877). Other writings reveal Engelgardt’s deep interest in women’s history and literary work; among the manuscripts to be found in Engelgardt’s archival collection is “Zhenschina v Obschestve i Sem’ie” (Woman in society and the family): a study of women’s status from ancient to modern times (delivered as a lecture in St Petersburg on 27 March 1900). Engelgardt also wrote articles on the two Russian women-writers Kokhanovskaia (pen-name for Nadezhda Sokhanskaia) and Krestovskii (pen-name for Nadezhda Khvoschinskaia). Engelgardt’s article on Kokhanovskaia, “Zabytaia pisatel’nitsa ” (A forgotten woman writer), was published in the Vestnik Evropy (European herald) in 1899. Her article on Khvoschinskaia (which was unfortunately never published ) dealt with issues raised in Khvoschinskaia’s work, such as the sham of bourgeois marriage. In 1870, both Anna Engelgardt and her husband were arrested for their active participation in the students’ circle, a group of socialist students at the Zemledel’cheskii Institut (Agricultural Institute) in St Petersburg, who were opposed to the government and led by Alexander Engelgardt. Anna Engelgardt spent a month and a half in prison, her husband a year and a half. Since there was no direct evidence of Anna Engelgardt’s guilt she was released, but her husband was found guilty and exiled from St Petersburg for life. Anna Engelgardt remained in St Petersburg with her children. Although she had three children to maintain almost...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9786155053726
Related ISBN
9789637326394
MARC Record
OCLC
868217084
Pages
698
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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