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Investigating Modernity Through the Lens of a Recreation Venue: Pleasure Gardens in Late Imperial St. Petersburg and Moscow


  • Svetlana A. Ryabova

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)


This article investigates modernity through a study of pleasure gardens in St. Petersburg and Moscow in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century. Russian pleasure gardens, being mere imitations of the English venues, reflect how western ideas connected to entertainment were modified, enriched with local features and used for wider purposes. This study argues that pleasure gardens were translators of developing mass culture, facilities for testing the new technology and leisure practices, and also indicators of cultural changes, which were experienced by an urban population on the cusp of modern Russia.

Suggested Citation

  • Svetlana A. Ryabova, 2015. "Investigating Modernity Through the Lens of a Recreation Venue: Pleasure Gardens in Late Imperial St. Petersburg and Moscow," HSE Working papers WP BRP 111/HUM/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:111hum2015

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philip T. Hoffman, 2015. "Why Did Europe Conquer the World?," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10452, June.
    2. Lachmann, Richard, 2000. "Capitalists in Spite of Themselves: Elite Conflict and Economic Transitions in Early Modern Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195075687.
    3. Dincecco,Mark, 2013. "Political Transformations and Public Finances," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107617759, March.
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    More about this item


    pleasure gardens; urban history; leisure; modernity; fin-de-siecle; recreation; Moscow; St.Petersburg; amusement parks.;

    JEL classification:

    • Z - Other Special Topics

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