The New International Encyclopædia/Dashkoff, Ekaterina Romanovna, Princess

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DASHKOFF, däsh'kṓf, Ekaterina Romanovna, Princess (1743-1810). A prominent figure in Russian political and literary circles during the latter half of the eighteenth century. She was the daughter of Count Vorontsoff, and was born March 28, 1743. At the age of fifteen she was married to Prince Dashkoff, an officer of the Imperial Guard. As lady-in-waiting and intimate friend of the Grand Duchess Catharine, the Princess appears to have taken an extraordinarily active part in the conspiracy of 1762, which resulted in placing her mistress on the throne as Catharine II. (q.v.). Prince Dashkoff died in 1761, and his widow gave herself up to her children, to literature, and to politics. A coldness between herself and the Empress now ended in a quarrel and in her retirement from the Court. After an extended tour through Germany, England, France, and Italy, during which she met almost all the great literary men of the day, the Princess returned to Russia in 1782, and was at once restored to Imperial favor. She was appointed director of the Russian Academy of Science, and in 1783 became first president of the Russian Academy, which was established through her efforts. On the death of Catharine II., in 1796, she was deprived of her offices, and ordered by Paul I. to retire to her estates at Novgorod. Later on she was allowed to reside in Moscow, where she died on January 16, 1810. In literature the Princess is remembered as the writer of several comedies, and as being mainly instrumental in inducing the Russian Academy to draw up a dictionary of the Russian language. The work was completed under her direction, and was in part written by her. Her memoirs have been edited by Mrs. W. Bradford (London, 1840).