1744 – 1810 A.D.
Ekaterina, Princess Dashkoff, a Russian Litterateur, and one of the leaders of the party that raised Catherine II to the throne.
Before she was sixteen she married Prince Dashkoff, a prominent Russian nobleman. Her relations with the new empress were not of a cordial nature, though she continued devotedly loyal. Her blunt manners, her unconcealed scorn of the male favorites that disgraced the court, and a sense of unrequited merit, produced an estrangement between her and the Empress, which ended in her asking permission to travel abroad. Her husband having meanwhile died, she set out in 1768 on an extended tour through Europe.
She was received with great consideration at foreign courts, and her literary and scientific reputation procured her of the entrée to the society of the learned in most of the capitals of Europe. In Paris she secured the warm friendship and admiration of Diderot and Voltaire.
In 1982 she returned to Russia, and was at once taken into favor by the Empress, who strongly sympathized with her in her literary tastes, and specially in her desire to elevate the Russian to a place among the literary languages of Europe. She was appointed “directeur” of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1784 she was named the first president of the Russian Academy, which had been founded at her suggestion. In both positions she acquitted herself with market ability. She projected the Russian dictionary of the Academy, arranged its plan, and executed a part of the work herself.
On the accession of the Emperor Paul in 1796 the princess was deprived of all of her offices, and ordered to retire to a miserable village in Novgorod, but after a time the sentence was recalled on the petition of her friends, and she was permitted to pass the closing years of her life on her estate near Moscow.
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.