Ostrovsky, Aleksandr Nikolayevich
- April Fitzlyon
(b Moscow, 31 March/April 12, 1823;d Shchelïkovo, Kostroma province, 2/June 14, 1886). Russian dramatist. He was the son of a government clerk and was brought up in the merchant quarter of Moscow; he worked for eight years as a clerk of the commercial court, thus acquiring wide knowledge of the merchants and low-grade civil servants whom he later portrayed vividly in his plays. His first published work was The Bankrupt (1847–9), and his first work staged Poverty is no Vice (1854). From then until his death he wrote some 40 plays in prose and eight in blank verse, mostly social comedies (he is regarded as the creator of the Russian comedy of manners), but also dramas, historical plays and one poetic fairy tale The Snow Maiden (1873). His best-known work, the drama Groza (known in English as ...