The Poutiatine women : war, revolutions, and exile, 1898-1922
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This is a study of six women who lived in Britain during the early twentieth century. A mother and five daughters, they immigrated to Britain from Russia in 1909, and their letters provide a window into the lives of women during times of great strain and changes. The daughters attended school in Britain and expected to live a comfortable upper-class lifestyle funded by their family’s business in Russia. However, World War I and the February and October Revolutions in Russia made that future impossible. Instead the women became both military and civilian nurses, adopting professional careers and remaining unmarried. Their letters allow one to examine issues ranging from the cultural identities of émigrés and exiles to the effects of gender roles on life choices. This paper serves as a case study of their family, examining how larger political, social, and cultural events affected the practical and emotional facets of their lives.