"conversations and discussions about women's rights"
Towards the end of the eighteenth century questions of the roles and rights of women
began to emerge in Europe through the work of activists such as Olympe de Gouges and Mary Wollstonecraft. Groups promoting women's rights first appeared in Russia around the 1860s, while Tolstoy was writing War and Peace.
Despite his progressive views in other areas, Tolstoy followed Rousseau's belief that it was natural for women to be subject to men. He thought that their main role in life was within the home, as he shows in these scenes of family life.