In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

526 STASOVA, Nadezhda Vasil’evna (1822–1895) Russian philanthropist; promoter of women’s education in Russia; superintendent of the first Higher Education Courses for Women in St Petersburg (known as the Bestuzhev Courses, 1878–1889). Nadezhda Vasil’evna Stasova was born on 12 June 1822, to the famous court architect Vasilii Stasov (1769–1848), a favorite of Tsar Alexander I, and Mariia Abramovna Suchkova (1796–1831), the daughter of a lieutenant of the Semenovsky Guard Regiment. Nadezhda was the fifth child of eight. Two of her three younger brothers were well known: one a literary critic (Vladimir, 1824–1906); the other a liberal lawyer (Dmitry, 1828–1918; the father of Communist Party member and friend of Lenin and Boris, Elena Stasova). She also had two elder brothers (Nikolai and Alexander) and an elder sister (Sophia, 1821–1858), to whom she was very close (the remaining sibling died in infancy). Her father spent much of his time working on building projects at royal residences. After her mother died of cholera in 1831, Nadezhda was brought up by the governess Olga Konstantinovna Nikolaeva. She received the usual education for a girl of her social position: lessons in French and German (she also knew English and Italian), polite manners, music, drawing, dancing and so forth. In addition, through the connections and popularity of her father, the family invited well-known professors from the famous Pedagogical Institute (e.g. Ivan Ozerov) to teach her and her siblings literature, art and history. After their governess left them in 1848 (she moved to Ekaterinburg and founded a boarding school for girls), Nadezhda Stasova entered ‘high society.’ Together with her younger brother Vladimir and her eldest sister Sophia, she borrowed books from their father and they read extensively. It was from French literature, especially George Sand (1804–1876), that Stasova first learned of women’s emancipation. But girls of her social class and generation were supposed to read romantic novels and household companions. Elena Gardiner, in her obituary of Stasova, remembers being told how, when Stasova and her sister once “spoke in public about Dead Souls […] they soon found that only men remained in the sitting room because anxious mothers hastily took their daughters away from these improper young ladies who dared praise Gogol” (Gardiner 1895, 239). During this period of her life, Stasova was mostly con- 527 cerned with family problems: the death of her father and the marriage, later the death from tuberculosis of her sister Sophia (1858), which she took very hard. This was a turning point for Stasova and she began participating in public life and philanthropy. Meeting Mariia Trubnikova strengthened her ideas about women’s emancipation—in particular emancipation through girls’ education. Stasova, who never married and did not have children (in his biography of Stasova, her brother Vladimir writes of the young Stasova’s broken off engagement to an army officer and the unhappiness it caused her), devoted the rest of her life to the promotion of women’s education in Russia. In 1861, Stasova joined Trubnikova and Anna Filosofova in organizing the Obshchestvo Dostavlenniia Deshevykh Kvartir i Drugikh Posobii Nuzhdaiushchimsia Zhiteliam Sankt-Peterburga (Society for Cheap Lodging and Other Aid to the Residents of St Petersburg) and worked hard to provide basic means of subsistence to poor women and their families. It was with the Society that she first obtained a role she would assume as part of her other undertakings too, that of supervising supplies. She looked after big orders for the Society’s sewing workshop, took care of children while their mothers were working and organized a kindergarten. Stasova was also among the founders of Obshchestvo Organizatsii Zhenskogo Truda (Society for the Organization of Work for Women) and Zhenskaia Izdatel’skaia Artel’ (Women’s Publishing Artel) in the 1860s. Between 1861 and 1869, Stasova became involved in the activities of the Countess Dondukova-Korsakova, who did charity work for prostitutes. These two women often housed girls and women taken from the streets in Dondukova’s apartment , or helped syphilitic girls who had been sent to the Kalinkin Hospital for forced medical treatment. Stasova also worked with Countess Lambert in the Priiut Sviatoi Marii Magdaliny (Asylum for Magdalens), an institution that aimed to ‘save’ young women (mainly from the Kalinkin Hospital) through ‘corrective’ methods of work and study—an approach of which Stasova later came to disapprove. Stasova’s real passion was providing women with education. Her first attempt was in 1860, with the launching of the so-called...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.