This article explores the sexual dimensions of Hegelian thought in mid-nineteenth-century Russia. It tells the story of a conspiracy organised by the young Mikhail Bakunin to 'liberate' his sister Varvara from her unhappy marriage to a provincial nobleman. Justified by appeals to reason and history, 'Varinka's liberation' was an ultra-Romantic affair. Over time, however, Dyakova began to experience doubts about the philosophical meaning that her brother assigned to her experiences. Her letters open a window on how Hegel's first Russian readers understood the role of gender and sexual conduct in his vision of human development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)