Shakhovskoi, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich
Born Apr. 24 (May 5), 1777, on the pomest’e (estate) of Bezzaboty, Smolensk Province; died Jan. 22 (Feb. 3), 1846, in Moscow. Prince. Russian writer and theatrical figure. Academician of the Russian Academy (1810).
Shakhovskoi graduated in 1792 from the Boarding School for the Nobility at Moscow University. From 1802 to 1826, he headed a St. Petersburg dramatic troupe. He belonged to the Society of the Lovers of the Russian Word from 1811 to 1815.
Shakhovskoi wrote more than 100 plays, including vaudevilles, historical dramas, and adaptations of works by European authors. Among his most important works are the prose play The New Stern (staged 1805), which attacks sentimentalism, and the comedy of manners A Lesson to Coquettes, or the Lipetsk Spa (1815). Shakhovskoi’s plays are distinguished by their diverting plots and their use of popular language. Shakhovskoi’s apt and aphoristic verse written in iambic lines of varying lengths foreshadowed the style of A. S. Griboedov’s verse in Woe From Wit.
WORKSSochineniia. St. Petersburg, 1898.
Komedii, stikhotvoreniia. Leningrad, 1961.