(Illustrated Catalogue)


In the 19th century the woman, her nature, her purpose and her place in the society became common topics for discussion. The 19th century differs in this respect from the world of antiquity which, in spite of the wealth of other innumerable topics it used to bring up for discussion kept total silence over the woman. Even such philosophers as Aristotle and Plato say nothing about the woman.

However with the advent of the Middle Ages the woman enters the world's history, poets take keen interest in her.

Medieval life gave rise to chivalry; then the troubadours and the minnesingers appear and instill into the public consciousness respect for the woman, the ability to recognize her importance in the life of the mankind.

Men's desires and designs were centered at that time around the woman.

However the woman commanded respect which verged on veneration from only a small group in the society. The majority, the masses kept considering the woman a creature inferior to the man.

It took a lot of time the woman herself to became conscious of her importance to the society.

What is the actual mission of the woman? It is ambivalent, because it regards both the family and the social sides of life. At home she fulfills her educational mission. Home is the focal point of all her concerns and interests. While her activities are confined to her home, she holds there sway over everything; her importance there is so great that home can be called woman's indisputable reign. But the noblest and the most sublime woman's inherent feature is her ability to propagate her own charm and imbue men's existence with poetic emotions. Since the woman's power lies in her beauty, her most important and useful social duty consists in being a beautiful flower which inspires love and is adored by everyone.

That is why the "Lady's World" exhibition organized by the National Library of Russia on the occasion of March 8th (which is the Woman's Day in this country) is devoted to the Woman. It displays books, magazines and manuscripts in many cases extant in one copy only.

A wonderful work in two volumes "The Art of Retaining Beauty" (1802) deserves special attention among them all; it contains not only numerous cosmetic recipes but also articles of educational nature. The exhibition also displays materials from ladies' albums kept in the Manuscript Department of the National Library of Russia. They comprise musical scores, verse and drawings by well-known musicians and artists of the 19th century and early 20th century (A. Glazunov, F. Glinka). The exhibition also features a great number of song-books, manuals of letter-writing, ladies' calendars, books on housekeeping and needlework as well as advertisements of perfumery and confectionery. There is a special section devoted to fashion. Inside show-cases there are splendid fashion magazines -"The Milliner",

"The World of Fashion", "The Ladies' Magazine", "The Gossip" as well as the "New Russian Bazaar" which was published from 1869 to 1898. On its pages there is a lot of extremely curious information about the commonest everyday things. All the articles are written according to the highest standards of literary art.



  1. Richardson S. "Clarissa Harlowe". - St. Petersburg, 1791. - 306 p.

  2. Richardson S. "The History of Sir Charles Grandison". - St. Petersburg, 1793. - 312 p., Illustrated.

  3. "The Art to Retain Beauty": in two parts. - St. Petersburg, 1802. - 152 p., Illustrated.

  4. "Feminine Ruse": Comedy in one act. - St. Petersburg, 1809. - 102 p., Illustrated.

  5. "Complete Household Economy Book Regarding Internal Housekeeping for Inhabitants of City and Country Homes, Husbands and Housewives": in ten parts with drawings, Volume 1 Part 1. - Moscow, 1813. - 258 p., Illustrated.

  6. "New Complete Song-Book for Everybody Containing the Collection of All the Best, Hitherto Known, Common and the Latest Songs of All Kinds"; in six parts. - St. Petersburg, 1820. - 863 p. Illustrated.

  7. "The Latest Complete Song-Book for Both Sexes Published by M. Maklakov with Explanation of the Contents and Parts of the Songs Accompanied by the Rhymed Mottoes Proper to Each of Them": in three parts. - 2nd Edition. - Moscow, 1822. - 232 p.

  8. "Stories for Ladies or Parisian Nights". - Moscow. - 213 p.

  9. "Feminine Dignity or Collected Descriptions of Women of Magnificent Nature and Examples of Feminine Virtue to Be Followed". - St. Petersburg, 1828. - 230 p.

  10. "Useful Information for Ladies and Maidens". - Moscow, 1829. - 108 p.

  11. "Collected Percepts for the Dressing Table, Complete Pocket-Book of Good Taste and Health Care Containing Instructions, Rules, and Practical Examples for the Art of Taking Care of Oneself and of Dressing Tastefully and Fashionably". - Moscow, 1829. - 127 p. Illustrated.

  12. "On Unwise and False Home Upbringing of Children: With Examples According to the Method of Saltzman. Book for Parents and Tutors". - St. Petersburg, 1831. - 245 p.

  13. "The Song-Book for Lady's Purse and Dressing Room. Collected Romances and Songs". - Moscow, 1831. - 138 p. Illustrated.

  14. "Housekeeping Handbook or the Latest Secret Housekeeper with Many Objects for Lady's Toilet". Moscow, 1831. - 160 p. Illustrated.

  15. "Prerequisites for Useful and Pleasant Life". Moscow, 1832. - 224 p.

  16. "Home Upbringing or Moral Education for the Early Age of Both Sexes Intended to Every Mother or Any Person Acting in Her Stead". Moscow, 1837. - 143 p.

  17. "Young Russian Housewife's Encyclopaedia": in two parts. - St. Petersburg, 1839. - 454 p.

  18. "Housewife-Housekeeper. The Latest Housekeeping Experience Collected by K. Avdeeva, the Author of "The Handbook of the Experienced Russian Housewife"". - St. Petersburg, 1846. - 144 p.

  19. "Secrets of Lady's Toilet and Mysteries of the Feminine Heart": in two parts. - Moscow, 1848. - 89 p., Illustrated.

  20. "A Good Counselor or Collected Proven Means Both to Adorn the Beautiful Sex and to Facilitate Everyday Housekeeping". - Riga, 1851. - 24 p.

  21. "Album with Lady's Needlework for Beginners in Fancywork" published together with the "Vase" magazine. - St. Petersburg, 1852. - 20 p. Illustrated.

  22. "Mothers Discourses with Children in the Hours of Repose After Studies". Moscow, 1853. - 152 p.

  23. "The Latest Openwork and Lattices for Embroidery". St. Petersburg, 1856. - 24 p., Illustrated.

  24. "Family Magazine of Modern Improvements to Be Spread Among All the People of Elegant Taste Loving Order and Comfort At Home and In Social Life": in four parts. - Moscow, 1856. - 219 p., Illustrated.

  25. "Fashion Herald with a Special Section on Taylor's Skill, Its Theory, Economy and Elegance". - 1858. - # 1.

  26. "Illustrated Family Leaflet". - 1859. - Volume 1.

  27. "Collected Love Letters for Men and Women or Guidelines for Lovers in Writing Sweet Letters": in two parts/ Compiled by M. Evstigneev. - Moscow, 1868. - 156 p., Illustrated.

  28. "Lady's Calendar Almanac for 1873". - Odessa, 1873. - 60 p., Illustrated.

  29. "Common Letter-Book of Essential Guidelines for Composing Letters on Various Subjects and Occasions of Social and Business Life". - Moscow, 1874. - 126 p., Illustrated.

  30. "Fashionable Sewing Patterns from Paris". - 1858. - # 1.

  31. "The New Russian Bazaar": Illustrated fashion magazine for ladies. - 1877. - # 1.

  32. "Manual of All Kinds of Needlework for Ladies". - St. Petersburg, 1879. - 158 p., Illustrated.

  33. "Ladies' Collection. Handbook for Ladies and Maidens". - St. Petersburg. - 470 p., Illustrated.

  34. "Album with Russian and French Monograms Engraved in Wood in the Private Shop for Marking Linen, Postal Paper and Embroidery". - Moscow, 1885. - 24 p., Illustrated.

  35. Klemmah G. "Handbook for Ladies and Maidens. Self-tuition Guide for Cutting-out, Sewing, Knitting, Embroidery (On Canvas and In Chain-Stitch) and Other Kinds of Feminine Home Fancywork". - St. Petersburg, 1885. - 224 p., Illustrated.

  36. The "Milliner". - 1889. - # 1.

  37. "What Suits Me? Collected Advice for Ladies On the Ways to Dress Tastefully". - St. Petersburg, 1891. - 108 p., Illustrated.

  38. Feling G. "Woman's Purpose, Her Place Inside the Family and Her Vocation". - Moscow, 1893. - 53 p.

  39. The Illustrated London News. - 1849. - Volume XIV.

  40. L'Illustration. - 1851. - T. XVII.

Home | Exhibitions

© The National Library of Russia, 1999