Meshcherskii, Vladimir Petrovich
Born Jan. 11 (23), 1839, in St. Petersburg; died July 10 (23), 1914, in Tsarskoe Selo, present-day Pushkin. Russian writer and publicist, ideologist of the reactionary nobility; prince.
After graduating from a school of jurisprudence, Meshcherskii served in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1860 he began contributing to the Severnaia pchela, Moskovskie vedomosti, and Russkii vestnik. He actively opposed the reforms of the 1860’s and defended the feudal privileges of the nobility and autocracy. Meshcherskii was close to court circles and to Tsar Alexander III. He received government subsidies to publish the ultraconservative newspaper Grazhdanin (1872–1914). In 1905 he helped draw up the Bulygin Duma plan. His publicistic writings were published in the collections Essays on Present Social Life in Russia (vols. 1–2, 1868–70), Speeches of a Conservative (1876), and Evidence Against the Times (1879).
Meshcherskii also wrote a number of artistically poor comedies, novellas, and novels dealing with life in high society. His Women of Petersburg High Society (1874), One of Our Bismarcks (1874), / Want to Be a Russian (1877), Terrible Woman (1878), and Secrets of Modern Petersburg (1876–77) reflected the author’s hostility toward progressive trends. Meshcherskii was the author of articles on F. I. Tiutchev, L. N. Tolstoy, A. K. Tolstoy, and F. M. Dostoevsky. His memoirs, My Reminiscences, appeared in three volumes between 1897 and 1912.