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Space Age Archaeology

Varvara Sokolova

17 Jan 2021, 08:55 UTC
Varvara Sokolova
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IntroductionOne day I realised that I had been writing a lot about Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, but it had never occurred to me wonder about his wife or partner. Was she involved in his work? What was her life like?Most of the sources in English merely mention that he married Varvara Yevgrafovna Sokolova (or Sokolovaya). He met her in the town of Borovsk, 70 miles south of Moscow, where he was a teacher. Varvara is described as the daughter of a local preacher or priest (eg French and Burgess 2007: 21). They got married in Borovsk in 1880 (French and Burgess 2007:21). The number of children reported from their marriage varies from two to seven. This is pretty much all you'll see in most English language sources. More frequently, Varvara Sokolova is not mentioned at all or is written out of the story altogether. In the 1957 film 'The Road to the Stars', Tsiolkovsky is represented as a bachelor. He sleeps alone in a single bed. This is an ancient trope where women are associated with the flesh and the weakness of the body, and hence are inimical to rationality and the work of the mind. Was there more to her story? ...

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