This book introduces to the readers private letters addressed by mid-nineteenth century “public women” to the famous Russian literary critics and publicists N.A. Dobrolyubov, N.G. Chernyshevsky, and others. The ajority of these documents, preserved in the archives of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tartu and written in Russian, German, and French, belong to the pen of two women with whom Dobrolyubov had a relationship — Teresa Karlovna Grünwald, a St. Petersburg "public woman", and Émilie Tellier, a Parisian. The volume also contains a handful of letters from other St. Petersburg and Parisian women who earned their bread by prostitution. The documents are published both in their original languages and in Russian translation and accompanied by an extensive commentary, as well as an introduction that offers an overview of the lives and fates of T.K. Grünwald and E. Tellier, their relationship with N.A. Dobrolyubov, and everyday life.
The book is intended both for scholars in the fields of historical and cultural studies, as well as the general audience.