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Sex in the City that Peter Built: The Demimonde and Sociability in Mid-Eighteenth Century St. Petersburg

  • Igor Fedyukin


This article uses the materials of the Drezdensha affair, a large-scale investigation of “indecency” in St. Petersburg in 1750, to explore unofficial sociability among the Imperial elite, and to map out the institutional, social, and economic dimensions of the post-Petrine “sexual underworld.” Sociability and, ultimately, the public sphere in eighteenth century Russia are usually associated with loftier practices, with joining the ranks of the reading public, reflecting on the public good, and generally, becoming more civil and polite. Yet, it is the privately-run, commercially-oriented, and sexually-charged “parties” at the focus of this article that arguably served as a “training ground” for developing the habits of sociability. The world of these “parties” provides a missing link between the debauchery and carousing of Peter I's era and the more polite formats of associational life in the late eighteenth century, as well as the historical context for reflections on morality, sexual licentiousness, foppery, and the excesses of “westernization.”



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1. Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv drevnikh aktov (hereafter, RGADA), fond 8 “Kalinkin dom i dela o prestupleniiakh protiv nravstvennosti” (The Kalinkin house and the cases regarding the crimes against morality), op. 1, d. 2, ll. 1–1 ob. (Investigation of all loose women in St. Petersburg, 1750). This episode has been covered in Pyliaev, M. I., Staryi Peterburg: Razskazy iz byloi zhizni stolitsy (St. Petersburg, 1887), 146–48; Semenova, L. N., Ocherki istorii byta i kul΄turnoi zhizni Rossii. Pervaia polovina XVIII v. (Leningrad, 1982), 205–6; Keenan, Paul, St. Petersburg and the Russian Court, 1703–1761 (Basingstoke, 2013), 5357 . The most thorough discussion of this affair is to be found in works by Roldugina, Irina A., and especially in her recent article “Otkrytie seksual΄nosti: Transgressiia sotsial΄noi stikhii v seredine XVIII v. v Sankt-Peterburge: po materialam Kalinkinskoi komissii (1750–1759),” Ab Imperio no. 2 (2016): 2969 . Also, I. A. Roldugina, “Kalinkinskaia komissiia i Kalinkinskii dom: Opyt bor΄by s sotsial΄nymi deviatsiami v Peterburge v seredine XVIII veka” (Undergraduate Thesis, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, 2006); I. A. Roldugina, “An Attempt at Social Disciplining in Eighteenth-Century Russia: The Kalinkinskii House. A Case Study” (M.A. Thesis, Central European University, 2010); Roldugina, I. A., “‘Bliatskie domy i nepotrebnye zhenki i devki’: vozniknovenie subkul΄tury prostitutsii v Sankt-Peterburge v seredine XVIII veka,” in Gendernye aspekty sotsiogumanitarnogo znaniia—II. Materialy Vtoroi Vserossiiskoi nauchnoi konferentsii studentov, aspirantov i molodykh uchenykh, ed. Vershinina, D. B. (Perm΄, 2013), 223–31. Vasilii Ivanovich Demidov (1697–1761), Elizabeth’s secretary, was a priest’s son, not related to the famous dynasty of mining tycoons. Andrei Demidov, “Iz istorii dvorian Demidovykh,” Rossiiskii nekropol΄, May 12, 2010, at (last accessed 9 September 2017). See also Rittikh, A. D., “Imperatritsa Elizaveta Petrovna i ee zapisochki k Vasiliiu Ivanovichu Demidovu,” Russkii arkhiv no. 1 (1878): 1015 . On the Privy Cabinet under Elizabeth, see Ageeva, O. G., Imperatorskii dvor Rossii. 1700–1796 gody (Moscow, 2008), 142–46.

2. Danilov, M. V., “Zapiski,” in Bezvremen΄e i vremenshchiki: Vospominaniia ob “epokhe dvortsovykh perevorotov” (1720-e–1760-e gody), ed. Anisimov, Evgenii V. (Leningrad, 1991), 315–17.

3. On the St. Petersburg police in this period, see Keenan, St Petersburg and the Russian Court, 39–42; Kosheleva, O. E., Liudi Sankt-Peterburgskogo ostrova Petrovskogo vremeni (Moscow, 2004), 4146 . On the policing of prostitution in Paris, see Benabou, Erica-Marie, La prostitution et la police de moeurs au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1987); Riley, Philip F., A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV’s Attack on Sin in Seventeenth-Century France (Westport, Conn, 2001), 1548 ; Kushner, Nina, Erotic Exchanges: The World of Elite Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Ithaca, 2013), 1445 .

4. See Rousseau, George Sebastian and Porter, Roy, eds., Sexual Underworlds of the Enlightenment (Chapel Hill, 1988).

5. Shcherbatov, M. M., On the Corruption of Morals in Russia, ed. Lentin, Antony (London, 1969); [Catherine II], Zapiski imperatritsy Ekateriny Vtoroi (St. Petersburg, 1907).

6. Some of the key works are: Vowles, Judith, “Marriage à la russe,” in Sexuality and the Body in Russian Culture, Costlow, J. T., Sandler, S., and Vowles, J. eds., (Stanford, 1993), 5374 ; Pushkareva, N. L., “A se grekhi zlye, smertnye. . .”: liubov΄, erotika i seksual΄naia etika v doindustrial΄noi Rossii: X—pervaia polovina XIX v.: teksty, issledovaniia (Moscow, 1999); Rosslyn, Wendy, “Women in Russia (1700–1825): Recent Research,” in Women and Gender in 18th-Century Russia, ed. Rosslyn, W. (Burlington, 2003), 134 ; Engel, Barbara Alpern, Women in Russia, 1700–2000 (Cambridge, Eng., 2004); Pushkareva, N. L., Chastnaia zhizn΄ zhenshchiny v Drevnei Rusi i Moskovii: Nevesta, zhena, liubovnitsa (Moscow, 2011); Boškovska, Nada, Mir russkoi zhenshchiny semnadtsatogo stoletiia, trans. Gimadeeva, R. A. (St. Petersburg, 2014). On sexuality in the context of courtship and marriage in this period, see Belova, Anna V., Chetyre vozrasta zhenshchiny: povsednevnaia zhizn΄ russkoi provintsial΄noi dvorianki XVIII-serediny XIX v. (St. Petersburg, 2010), 249–91. Levin, Eve, Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs, 900–1700 (Ithaca, 1989) still provides the best overview on the subject in pre-Petrine period, while for the nineteenth century see Engelstein, Laura, The Keys to Happiness: Sex and the Search for Modernity in Fin-de-Siècle Russia (Ithaca, 1992). Notably, a recent study of libertinage in Russian literature does not have much to say on the subject prior to Nikolai Gogol΄ and Aleksandr Pushkin. Lalo, Alexei, Libertinage in Russian Culture and Literature: A Bio-History of Sexualities at the Threshold of Modernity (Leiden, 2011). On prostitution see Il΄iukhov, A.A., Prostitutsiia v Rossii s XVII veka do 1917 goda (Moscow, 2008), 8899 , and, for later periods, Engel, Barbara Alpern, “St. Petersburg Prostitutes in the Late Nineteenth Century: A Personal and Social Profile,” The Russian Review 48, no. 1 (January 1989): 2144 ; Bernstein, Laurie, Sonia’s Daughters: Prostitutes and Their Regulation in Imperial Russia (Berkeley, 1995). For the most recent general overview, see Hetherington, Philippa, “Prostitution in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia,” in Garcia, Magaly Rodriguez, van Voss, Lex Heerma, van Nederveen Meerkerk, Elise, eds., Selling Sex in the City: A Global History of Prostitution, 1600s–2000s (Leiden, 2017), 138170 .

7. Smith, Douglas, Working the Rough Stone: Freemasonry and Society in Eighteenth-Century Russia (DeKalb, 1999), 54–90, esp. 56–59. Most recently, see Önnerfors, Andreas and Collis, Robert, eds., Freemasonry and Fraternalism in Eighteenth-Century Russia (Sheffield, 2009).

8. Leckey, Colum, Patrons of Enlightenment: The Free Economic Society in Eighteenth-Century Russia (Newark, 2011); Bradley, Joseph, Voluntary Associations in Tsarist Russia: Science, Patriotism, and Civil Society (Cambridge, Mass., 2009), 3855 .

9. Smith, Working the Rough Stone, 5.

10. On the historical debates regarding the realities of the early modern public sphere more generally, see Gestrich, Andreas, “The Public Sphere and the Habermas Debate,” German History 3, no. 24 (July 2006): 413–30. For an overview of this sphere’s various institutional sites, see Van Horn Melton, James, The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe (Cambridge, Eng., 2001), 226–50; Schaich, Michael, “The Public Sphere,” in A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Europe, ed. Wilson, Peter H. (Malden, 2008), 125–40; Breuniger, Scott, “Introduction,” in Breuninger, Scott and Burrow, David, eds., Sociability and Cosmopolitanism: Social Bonds on the Fringes of the Enlightenment (London, 2012), 14 .

11. Zitser, Ernest A., The Transfigured Kingdom: Sacred Parody and Charismatic Authority at the Court of Peter the Great (Ithaca, 2004).

12. Keenan, St. Petersburg and the Russian Court, 24–26; Smith, Working the Rough Stone, 65–66. By the 1730s, according to a Swedish traveler, assemblies were no longer held, with the exceptions of gatherings hosted by some foreign ambassadors, while Russians “prefer[ed] drinking and playing cards in their own company behind closed doors.” K. R. Berk [Carl Reinhold Berch], “Putevye zametki o Rossii,” in Peterburg Anny Ioannovny v inostrannykh opisaniiakh: Vvedenie, texty, kommentarii, trans. Bespiatykh, Iu. N. (St. Petersburg, 1997), 166 .

13. For a useful overview of different ways of defining and approaching sociability in the eighteenth century, see Gordon, Daniel, Citizens without Sovereignty: Equality and Sociability in French Thought, 1670–1789 (Princeton, 1994), 2838 .

14. Darnton, Robert, The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (New York, 1996).

15. Cryle, Peter and O’Connell, Lisa, “Sex, Liberty, and License in the Eighteenth Century,” in Libertine Enlightenment: Sex, Liberty, and License in the Eighteenth Century, eds. Cryle, Peter and O’Connell, Lisa (New York, 2004), 2 .

16. Ibid. On libertinage, see also materials in Libertinage and Modernity,” Yale French Studies no. 94, (1998).

17. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, ll. 8–8 ob., 10, 92; Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi imperii. Pervoe sobranie. 1649–1825 (St. Petersburg, 1830), (hereafter PSZ), vol. 13, №9789. For reasons of space, the women detained by the Commission could not be profiled here in any detail. For detailed profiles, see Roldugina, “Kalinkinskaia komissiia,” 75–82; and Roldugina, “An Attempt at Social Disciplining.” The Commission’s scribes mercilessly distorted and Russified the names of most of the foreign detainees, to the extent that guessing the original spelling is often impossible. Additionally, some detainees were referred to by nicknames derived from their place of origin, such as Drezdensha, or Kenigsbersha. In other cases, a -sha ending was added to their husbands’ names, as in Gaksha, or Berensha. In still other cases, rather than calling the girls by their father’s last names, the scribes made up a patronymic of sorts derived from the Russified names of their fathers, while the girls’ own first names were also Russified. Thus, there appeared “Maria Semenova, a foreigner,” and so forth.

18. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, ll. 8–11 ob., 110

19. Ibid., ll. 10–10 ob., 13, 15, 45, 47, 52, 55, 60, 72.

20. Ibid., ll. 52–52 ob.

21. Ibid., ll. 50–55 ob.

22. Ibid., ll. 49, 55.

23. Ibid., l. 137.

24. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 119, ll. 1–25 (The case of Osip Trezzini).

25. 121 kabaks selling vodka as well as 65 piteinyi pogrebs selling “grape drinks” (i.e. wine). Bogdanov, Andrei I., Opisanie Sanktpeterburga, eds., Logachev, K. I., and Sobolev, V. S. (St. Petersburg, 1997), 198200 ; Kosheleva, Liudi sankt-peterburgskogo ostrova, 375–77; Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Voenno-Istorcheskii Arkhiv (RGVIA), f. 314, op. 1, d. 1632, l. 64; PSZ, vol. 8, №5333, §48; vol. 9, №6947.

26. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 10, ll. 10, 21–21 ob. (Regarding parties held in St. Petersburg with the permission from the police). A sample of a permission ticket issued by the police is in ibid., l. 29.

27. Ibid., l. 12.

28. On living arrangements and rental practices among the lower classes in St. Petersburg in a somewhat earlier period, see Kosheleva, Liudi sankt-peterburgskogo ostrova, 133–39, 363–79.

29. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, l. 6 ob.

30. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 10, l. 8.

31. Ibid., l. 19.

32. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, ll. 1–1 ob., d. 10, l. 7.

33. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 10, ll. 4 ob., 5 ob., d. 31, l. 8 ob. (The case of Maria Pashkeeva).

34. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 10, l. 4.

35. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 132, l. 13 ob. (The case of Johann [Peter] Gints).

36. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 10, ll. 13, 23; Semenova, Lidia. N., Byt i naselenie Sankt-Peterburga: XVIII vek (Moscow, 1998), 126 . Not surprisingly, recent studies treat them as a straightforward case of organized prostitution; see Keenan, St Petersburg and the Russian Court, 55–56; Roldugina, “‘Bliatskie domy i nepotrebnye zhenki i devki,’” in Gendernye aspekty, ed. D. B. Vershinina.

37. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 31, l. 8.

38. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 10, ll. 12, 2.

39. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 128, ll. 2–7 (The case of Andrian Pomlin).

40. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 132, ll. 13 ob.–15 ob., 27–27 ob., 38–39 ob.

41. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 29, l. 3 (The case of Charlotte Stein).

42. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 10, l. 23 ob.

43. Ibid., l. 26. The institutionalization of this domain is emphasized in Roldugina, “‘Bliatskie domy i nepotrebnye zhenki i devki,’” in Gendernye aspekty, ed. D. B. Vershinina.

44. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, l. 1 (The case of Anna Felkner, also known as Drezdensha).

45. Ibid., ll. 1–3 ob.

46. For more on Belosel΄skii, see Berkh, N. V., Zhizneopisaniia pervykh rossiiskikh admiralov ili оpyt istorii rossiiskogo flota, vol. 2 (St. Petersburg, 1832), 377–90; Alekseevskii, B., “Belosel΄skii Mikhail Andreevich,” in Russkii biograficheskii slovar΄, vol. 3: Betankur-Biakster, ed. Polovtsоv, A. A. (St. Petersburg, 1908), 651–52; Kurukin, I. V., Biron (Moscow, 2006), 118215 . Belosel΄skii’s own extremely laconic life chronicle has been published as Zapisnaia knishka pokoinogo kniazia Mikhaila Andreicha Belasel΄skogo,” Rossiiskii arkhiv: Istoriia otechestva v svidetel΄stvakh i dokumentakh XVIII-XX vv., vol. 14 (Moscow, 2005), 7173 .

47. A detailed list of these women was provided by one Matvei Kosulin, a pimp. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 129, ll. 20–22 (The case of Matvei Kosulin).

48. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 10, ll. 22–23 ob.; Keenan, St Petersburg and the Russian Court, 109.

49. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, l. 9; d. 10, l. 23.

50. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, l. 5.

51. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, ll. 3 ob.–4.

52. Ibid., ll. 4–4 ob.

53. On the social composition of cadets and the guards, see Fedyukin, Igor, “Nobility and Schooling in Russia, 1700s–1760s: Choices in a Social Context,” Journal of Social History 49, no. 3 (Spring 2016): 558–84. On the Emancipation, see Jones, Robert E., The Emancipation of the Russian Nobility, 1762–1785 (Princeton, 1973); Faizova, Irina V., “Manifest o vol΄nosti” i sluzhba dvorianstva v XVIII stoletii (Moscow, 1999).

54. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, ll. 3 ob.–6.

55. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d.10, ll. 4, 22 ob., 23.

56. Ibid., ll. 22–23 ob.; also RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 35, l. 16 (The case of Ekaterina Izvoshchikova); d. 129, l. 22.

57. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, l. 44.

58. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, ll. 2 ob.–3, 6–6 ob.

59. Catherine II, Zapiski, 369.

60. Danilov, “Zapiski,” 317. For a different version, see Pyliaev, Staryi Peterburg, 146.

61. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, l. 110

62. Ibid., 1. 8.

63. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, 1. 123 ob. (cf. Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s “The Shepherdess,” for example).

64. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, ll. 55–55 ob.

65. Danilov, “Zapiski,” 316.

66. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 12, 1. 3 ob.

67. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, ll. 1–1 ob.

68. The Commission even requested the statistics on the numbers of foreign passengers who arrived in St. Petersburg by sea in the previous five years, and the data emphasizes the surprisingly negligible scale of passenger traffic between Russia and Europe: 137 women arrived in 1746, 56 in 1747, 50 in 1748, 37 in 1749, and only 8 in the first six month of 1750. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, ll. 13–13 ob., 17–25 ob., 55, 65, 76 ob.–77, 78, 116.

69. On July 10 the Commission reported that it had detained around seventy individuals, including fifteen Russians. By September 26, the Commission had 90 “foreigners” and 88 Russians under lock, while a further 12 Russian “whores” and 23 foreign ones were still at large. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, ll. 49, 59, 137. “Foreigners” eventually made up 36% of all those arrested by the commission. Roldugina, “An Attempt at Social Disciplining,” 102.

70. Keenan, St Petersburg and the Russian Court, 4.

71. Keenan, St Petersburg and the Russian Court, 93.

72. Castle, Terry, Masquerade and Civilization: The Carnivalesque in Eighteenth-Century English Culture and Fiction (Stanford, 1986); Craft-Fairchild, Catherine, Masquerade and Gender: Disguise and Female Identity in Eighteenth-Century Fictions by Women (University Park, 1993); Hunt, Elizabeth, “A Carnival of Mirrors: The Grotesque Body of the Eighteenth-Century British Masquerade,” in Kittredge, Katharine, ed. Lewd and Notorious: Female Transgression in the Eighteenth Century (Ann Arbor, 2003), 91111 .

73. Pogosjan, Jelena, “Masks and Masquerades at the Court of Elizabeth Petrovna (1741–1742),” in Russian and Soviet History: From the Time of Troubles to the Collapse of the Soviet Union, eds., Usitalo, Steven A., and Whisenhunt, William Benton (Lanham, 2008), 3550 ; Keenan, St Petersburg and the Russian Court, 93, 105–13. In the winter of 1746 there were “carnival and masquerading amusements” ordered by the Empress to be held in the houses of dignitaries of the top two ranks and attended by three to four hundred masked guests each. A. P. Bestuzhev-Riumin to M. I. Vorontsov, January 1746, Arkhiv kniazia Vorontsova, vol. 2 (Moscow, 1871), 142–43.

74. Nashchokin, V. A., “Zapiski,” in Imperiia posle Petra: 1725–1765 (Moscow, 1998), 273 .

75. Catherine II, Zapiski, 309–10; Keenan, St Petersburg and the Russian Court, 153.

76. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, l. 96, 137 ob.–138; d. 128, l. 5; d. 42, l. 3–4 ob. (The case of Maria Brinken); d. 10, l. 22. While the theme of cross-dressing was stressed during the interrogations, intriguingly, I could find nothing in the documents that could be read as references to homosexuality, either in the interrogators’ questions, or in the detainees’ answers.

77. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, l. 97.

78. On petimetry and fops in eighteenth century Russia in general, see See Pokrovskii, V. I., Shchegoli v satiricheskoi literature XVIII veka (Moscow, 1903); Sipovskii, V. V., “Iz istorii russkoi komedii XVIII v.: K literaturnoi istorii ‘tem’ i ‘tipov,’Izvestiia Otdeleniia russkogo iazyka i slovesnosti Rossiiskoi akademii nauk 1 (St. Petersburg 1917): 205–74; Birzhakova, E. E., “Shchegoli i shchegol΄skoi zhargon v russkoi komedii 18 veka,” in Iazyk russkikh pisatelei XVIII veka, ed. Sorokin, Iu. S. (Leningrad, 1981), 96129 ; Kira S. Mirutenko, “Evolutsiia tipov shchegolia i shchegolikhi v komediinykh zhanrakh russkoi dramaturgii i teatra vtoroi poloviny XVIII-nachala XIX vv.” (Candidate diss., State Institute of Linguistic Studies, Moscow, 2007); Sergei L. Ivanov, “Istoriia shchegol΄skoi leksiki v russkom iazyke XVIII-XX vv.,” (Candidate diss., Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow, 2003); Ol΄ga V. Nikitina, “Petimetr: shchegol΄skaia kul΄tura v Rossii vtoroi poloviny XVIII v.” (Candidate diss., State Institute of Linguistic Studies, Moscow, 2010).

79. Sumarokov, A. P., Dramaticheskiie proizvedeniia (Leningrad, 1990), 315 .

80. Berkov, P. N., “Neskol’ko spravok dlia biografii A. P. Sumarokova,” in XVIII vek. Sbornik 5 (Moscow 1962), 364–75; Berkov, P., Aleksandr Petrovich Sumarokov (Leningrad, 1949); Stepanov, V. P., “Sumarokov v Shliakhetnom korpuse,” Russkaia literatura no. 4 (2000): 8387 ; most recently, Ospovat, Kiril, Terror and Pity: Aleksandr Sumarokov and the Theater of Power in Elizabethan Russia (Brighton, 2016).

81. Ivanov, “Istoriia shchegol’skoi leksiki,” 56–64; Zapadov, Aleksandr V., ed., Poety XVIII veka: A. Kantemir, A. Sumarokov, V. Maikov, M. Kheraskov: literaturnye ocherki (Moscow, 1984); Berkov, P. N., Lomonosov i literaturnaia polemika ego vremeni: 1750–1756 (Moscow, 1936), 117–46; Martynov, I.F., Shanskaia, I.A., “Otzvuki literaturno-obshchestvennoi polemiki 1750-kh godod v russkoi rukopisnoi knige (Sbornik A.A. Rzhevskogo),” in XVIII vek. Sbornik 11. N.I. Novikov i obshchestvenno-literaturnoe dvizhenie ego vremeni, ed. Makogonenko, G.P. (Moscow, 1976), 131– 48.

82. Lomonosov, M.V., Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, vol. 9 (Moscow 1955), 635 .

83. Note also the tradition of writing and/or translating obscene poetry emerging at about the same time within pretty much the same circle (among the authors of barkoviana were Sumarokov and Elagin), as well as the availability of commercially available imported pornography. Barkov, I., Devich΄ia igrushka, ili Sochineniia gospodina Barkova, eds., Zorin, A. and Sapov, N. (Moscow, 1992), 35 ; as well as the materials in Marcus Levitt, C. and Toporkov, A. L., eds., Eros i pornografiia v russkoi kul΄ture (Moscow, 1999), 45, 201–4, 224–25.

84. Proskurin, O. A., Poeziia Pushkina, ili Podvizhnyi palimpsest (Moscow, 1999), 304 .

85. Serkov, Andrei I., Russkoe masonstvo: 1731–2000: Entsiklopedicheskii slovar΄ (Moscow, 2001), 200–1; 251–52, 436–37, 788–89, 812, 874–75, 964–65. For the reflections of a scion of a freemason on the same topic a generation later, see Zorin, A. L., Poiavlenie geroia: Iz istorii russkoi emotsional΄noi kultury kontsa XVIII-nachala XIX veka (Moscow, 2016), 258–71.

86. Elagin, I. P., “Zapiski o masonstve I. P. Elagina,” Russkii arkhiv 1 (1864), 100 .

87. Ibid., 99.

88. Ibid., 100.

89. Robert Collis, “Hewing the Rough Stone: Masonic Influence in Peter the Great’s Russia, 1689–1725,” in A. Önnerfors and R. Collis eds., Freemasonry and Fraternalism, 52. On Elagin’s masonic activities, see Faggionato, Raffaella, A Rosicrucian Utopia in Eighteenth-Century Russia: The Masonic Circle of N.I. Novikov (Dordrecht, 2005), 1627 .

90. Otdel pis΄mennykh Istochnikov Gosudastvennogo Istoricheskogo Muzeia (Moscow), f. 17, op. 2, ed. 304, ll. 54–55 ob. I am grateful to M.B. Lavrinovich for making me aware of this document.

91. The classic works are Jacob, Margaret C., Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe (New York, 1991); Goodman, Dena, The Republic of Letters: A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment (Ithaca, 1994).

92. Crawford, Katherine, European Sexualities, 1400–1800 (Cambridge, 2007), 205 . On the Parisian demimonde, see, most recently, Kushner, Erotic Exchanges.

93. Lilti, Antoine, Le monde des salons: sociabilité et mondanité à Paris au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 2005).

94. D’Ezio, Marianna, “Sociability and Cosmopolitanism in Eighteenth Century Venice: European Travellers and Venetian Women’s Casinos,” in Sociability and Cosmopolitanism: Social Bonds on the Fringes of the Enlightenment, eds., Scott Breuninger and David Burrow (London, 2012), 45–57, here 52.

95. Ibid., 52.

96. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, ll. 133–133 ob.

97. Ibid.

98. RGADA, f. 8, op. 1, d. 2, ll. 133–133 ob.

99. Roldugina, “An Attempt at Social Disciplining,” 57.

100. PSZ, vol. 13, № 9824.

Work on this article has been supported by the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).

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Sex in the City that Peter Built: The Demimonde and Sociability in Mid-Eighteenth Century St. Petersburg

  • Igor Fedyukin


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