Review by Library Journal Review
This fascinating memoir of a Russian woman soldier of the 19th century is presented for the first time in two independent English translations, each a graceful rendering of the original Russian. Nadezhda Durova (1783-1866), a young woman of the gentry, spurned her family, disguised herself as a man, and joined the Russian cavalry. She fought with distinction in the Napoleonic Wars and served from 1807 until her retirement as captain in 1816. The details of a soldier's life and attitudes during this era are uniquely revealed through the eyes of this very special womana woman whose commitment to the military officer's conduct and spirit is a singular statement for her time. While there are minor differences between the translations, Zirin's extensive introductory essay and notes illuminate Durova's life and place it in its proper historical and literary context; this translation is further enhanced by a bibliography and index. Mersereau and Lapeza offer a brief introduction outlining Durova's life, but nothing more. Enhancements to any study of feminist literature or Russian history, both translations can be read with pleasure; at least one belongs in medium to large collections. Rena Fowler, Northern Michigan Univ., Marquette (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.