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American Philosophical Society
Dashkova: A Life of Influence and Exile (Transaction 97-3)
Transaction 97 No. 3
A woman of letters and the first woman member of the Amer. Philosophical Soc., Ekaterina Romanovna Dashkova (nee Vorontsova) was also the first modern stateswoman in Russia. Early in her life she dressed in an officer’s uniform and boldly stepped forward to play an active role iin the political arena, where she participated in the palace revolution of 1762. Subsequently, Dashkova was appointed director of the Academy of Sciences by Catherine II and she founded and became Pres. of the Russian Academy. For close to 12 years, she headed both these prestigious academic institutions. She was a leading figure in 18th-cent. Russian culture as she strove to institute reforms, to adapt and apply the ideas of the Enlightenment, and to establish new approaches to the educ. of Russia’s youth. Sadly, her relationship with her own children was deeply tragic, and later in life she was exiled to the north of Russia. This biography focuses on Dashkova’s efforts in her life and works to isolate, clarify, and define patterns of action, identity, and gender for herself as well as for other women. Illus.
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