The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible (Paperback)
  • The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible (Paperback)
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The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible (Paperback)

(editor and translator)
£14.99
Paperback Published: 07/09/1995
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A detailed and colorful instruction manual on household management in sixteenth-century Russia, the Domostroi gives a fascinating glimpse of the world of the nobility. This "how-to" guide is one of the few sources on the social history and secular life of Russia in the time of Ivan the Terrible. Carolyn Johnston Pouncy here offers, with an informative introduction, the first complete English translation. This melange of admonitions covered the proper Christian life, orders on day-to-day secular life, and practical details on domestic organization. How to arrange hay, visit monasteries, distill vodka, treat servants, entertain clergy, instruct a son or wife, cut out a robe - specific instructions dictated the rules for innumerable aspects of proper behavior. Life was simple for the Domostroi author: "a place for everything and everything in its place." In his universe, Pouncy writes, "pickled mushrooms and clean straw reflected the soul as clearly as acts of charity." It was a world view that prized religious orthodoxy, reliance on tradition, absolute subordination of the individual to family and the state - ideals to which most sixteenth-century Muscovites subscribed without question. Providing a distinct picture, unparalleled elsewhere, of the wealthy, urban household, this book adds an invaluable dimension to our understanding of Russian social and cultural history.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801496899
Weight: 425 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"The Domostroi, which literally means 'household order, ' is a 16th-century Russian guide to life for noblemen, an exhaustive inventory of homilies, rules and recipes ranging from how to instill obedience in a wife to instructions for making mead and storing cabbage. Students of Russian history have long valued the Domostroi for its insights into how society was ordered in the early days of czarist rule. But even the merely curious can revel in the domestic preoccupations and atavistic advice in this ably translated and annotated edition .... Much of the Domostroi reads like a kind of 'Hints from Heloise'--and Abelard."--Alessandra Stanley, New York Times Book Review


"The Domostroi is a wonderful resource for the social history of the Muscovite period that is, sadly, little seen by any but the most serious specialist. . . . This translation goes a long way toward opening the Domostroi to a wider audience. . . . The translation itself reads well--a difficult feat, considering the abstruse style of the original. Throughout, Pouncy uses footnotes to educate readers with fuller information about the history and society of Muscovy, controversies among modern historians, choices she made for the translation and bibliographic citations for her work."--Russian Review

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