Giving women history: a history of Ekaterina Dashkova through her gifts to Catherine the Great and others

Emma Gleadhill, Ekaterina Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article argues for a revisionist history of women through the lens of anthropological gift theory by analysing how Princess Ekaterina Romanovna Dashkova used gifts to sustain her relationships, including a tumultuous friendship with Catherine the Great, and the historical narrative of her life. In 1762, Ekaterina played a key role in the coup that overthrew Peter III and installed his wife on the throne. Catherine II made the princess president of the Russian Academy of Sciences - the first European woman to hold public office. At a time when elite Russians first encountered Western society, Ekaterina played a central role in shaping and promoting Russian intellectual and cultural life. The role that gift-giving played in the princess’s negotiation of her relationships and her construction of her own and Russia’s history has not been considered; this article argues for greater recognition of gift-giving and visual rhetoric in women’s history.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalWomen's History Review
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Britain
  • Catherine the Great
  • Ekaterina Dashkova
  • Gender history
  • Russia
  • eighteenth-century
  • gifts
  • material culture
  • nineteenth-century

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