Aleksandra Osipovna Smirnova

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Smirnova, Aleksandra Osipovna


(née Rosset). Born Mar. 9 (21), 1810 (according to some sources, 1809), in Odessa; died June 7 (19), 1882, in Paris. Russian memoirist.

Smirnova was the daughter of a French immigrant, the commandant of the port of Odessa. She graduated from the Eka-terina Institute in St. Petersburg and was a maid of honor to the empress from 1826 to 1831. Smirnova’s salon was a meeting place for well-known writers, who dedicated their works to her. She was a friend of A. S. Pushkin, N. V. Gogol, M. lu. Lermontov, V. A. Zhukovskii, and I. S. Turgenev. Her diaries, published by her daughter O. N. Smirnova in Severnye zapiski (Northern Notes) in the period 1893–95, proved to be a literary hoax. Excerpts from her memoirs, based on a manuscript written in Smirnova’s own hand, were first published by P. I. Bartenev in Russkii arkhiv (Russian Archive) in 1895.


Zapiski, dnevnik, vospominaniia, pis’ma. Moscow, 1929.
A vtobiografiia. Moscow, 1931.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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