Theater of a Tolstoïenne: Véra Starkoff

  • Cecilia Beach


Véra Starkoff1 is the most enigmatic of the authors discussed in this book. Though her name appears frequently in archives about turn-of-the-century feminism and the Université Populaire, little was known about her life or in fact her true identity until recently. In an introductory essay to Starkoff’s plays published in 2001 in Au temps de l’anarchie, un théâtre de combat 1880–1914, Monique Surel-Tupin wrote, “On sait peu de choses sur cette militante d’origine russe qui s’engagea dans le mouvement des universités populaires” (287).2 After much intriguing research in such unusual places for a literary scholar as cemeteries, police archives, and genealogical databases in France, the United States, and Russia, I was able to discover a minimum of biographical information about her. Unfortunately, many aspects of her life and career remain unknown.


Domestic Violence Excessive Alcohol Consumption Russian Philosophy Female Protagonist Paternal Authority 
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  1. 67.
    See Eric Bentley, The Playwright as Thinker ( New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1946 ).Google Scholar

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© Cecilia Beach 2005

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  • Cecilia Beach

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