Estate Management

Katherine Pickering Antonova

in An Ordinary Marriage

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796991
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979721 | DOI:
Estate Management

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This chapter argues that the construction of womanhood in this family was something quite different from the western “separate spheres“ model of a nurturing, home-based mother (whose principal job was childrearing). Natalia’s role was estate manager and material provider. Natalia’s sphere was “within the home”—but, by “home“ they meant not only their residence and the demesne lands surrounding it, but the entire estate, including the serf villages and the lands which peasants farmed for their own profit, and even the peasants who were sent off to work in towns. Natalia’s role was thus defined within the family as nurturer, but as nurturer to all the larger “family” including serfs and other dependents, and her most important responsibility to “nurture” this family was to ensure their material and financial wellbeing. It examines how Natalia defined her duty in life and role in her marriage as khoziaika (estate manager), based on her diaries, and discusses both the toll this work took on her physically, and the rewards it gave her.

Keywords: women; gender; work; estate management; serfdom; domesticity; Khoziaika

Chapter.  11339 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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