Aleksandr Shakhovskoi

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


Sochineniia. St. Petersburg, 1898.
Komedii, stikhotvoreniia. Leningrad, 1961.


Bochkarev, V. A. Russkaia istoricheskaia dramaturgiia (1816–1825). Kuibyshev, 1968. Pages 324–36.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In another book about Russian authors and identity, Theatre and Identity in Imperial Russia (University of Iowa Press, 978-1-58729-799-1), Catherine Schuler, associate professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Maryland and author of Women in Russian Theatre: The Actresses in the Silver Age, discusses the theatre's role in asserting Russia's new identity by satirizing "the superficiality of French manners and their adoption by the Russian gentry." The playwright Aleksandr Shakhovskoi is one example; in his play A Lesson for Coquettes, the "father of Russian comedy" makes fun of the pretensions of "Frenchified" salon society.
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