The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Kniazhnin, Jakov Borisovich
KNIAZHNIN, knyäzh-nēn, Jakov Borisovich, Russian litterateur and dramatic author: b. Pskov, 3 Oct. 1743; d. 14 Jan. 1791. He was educated in the University of Saint Petersburg, entered the army, where, however, he stayed only a short time, and for a number of years was connected with the civil service. In 1783 he became a member of the Russian Academy at Saint Petersburg. Of his tragedies the majority are but imitations of French plays, containing with the exception of one or two nothing original. His comedies are replete with bright passages and full of spirit. The tragedies most worthy of mention are ‘Didon’ (1769); ‘Vladimir i Iaropolh’ (1779); ‘Vladisan’ (1786); ‘Roslav’ (1784); ‘Vadim Novgorodskii’ (1789). The two last were patriotic plays, some of the passages of the ‘Vadim’ being of such a character as to alarm Catharine II and cause its suppression, but it was published in 1793, two years after the death of the author. Of his comedies the most noteworthy are ‘Khvastum’; ‘Chudakhi’; and the light opera ‘Neachastie ot Karety.’ A complete edition of his works, in four volumes, was published in 1787, several subsequent editions being published in two volumes in 1847-48.