Bil’basov, Vasilii Alekseevich
Born June 7 (19), 1837, in Poltava; died July 24 (Aug. 6), 1904, inPavlovsk, St. Petersburg Province. Russian historian and publicist.
In 1861, Bil’basov graduated from the University of St. Petersburg. He studied the history of Western Europe and the history of 18th-century Russia. From 1869 to 1871 he was a professor at the University of Kiev; from 1871 to 1883 he edited the newspaper Golos in St. Petersburg.
Bil’basov was a moderate liberal and a proponent of bourgeois reforms. To a considerable extent, he used new documentary material in elaborating various subjects in political and military history. He was a master in the genre of historical biography. His unfinished work of research entitled History of Catherine 11 (vols. 1–2, St. Petersburg, 1890–96) and several other works are packed with rich factual material. As a historian, he avoided analysis of the underlying socioeconomic basis of events.