Suvorin, Alexei Sergeyevich

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(18341912), publisher, editor, critic, playwright.

Alexei Sergeyevich Suvorin was born into a provincial military family and, by becoming a journalist, made his greatest contribution to Russia as publisher and editor of its most influential pre-Revolution conservative daily newspaper, New Times, and as publisher of Chekhov.

First commissioned in the military, Suvorin resigned at age nineteen to concentrate on teaching, journalism, and literature. After working for several Russian newspapers and periodicals over the next fifteen years, he and a partner acquired the faltering St. Petersburg daily, New Times, in 1867. It became the flagship of a financially successful business that came to include book publishing, sales in company bookstores and railway station kiosks, and a school for printers. Suvorin grasped the opportunities provided by a relaxation of tsarist censorship in 1865, the demands of an increasingly literate population, the mass production made possible by the new printing technology, and fast reporting of news by means of the telegraph.

As a seasoned literary critic and aspiring playwright, Suvorin in 1895 started his own theatrical company and installed it in his own theater. He wrote the revealingly personal Diary of A. S. Suvorin (1923), an account of the literary and political life of his time never translated into English.

Suvorin recognized the literary promise of Anton Chekhov when he first published stories in small Russian publications. During their thirteen-year collaboration from 1886 to 1899, Chekhov published major stories and plays with Suvorin. The two became close friends, and that bond eased for Suvorin the tragedies of his own family life. Both his first wife and a son committed suicide, while another son and a daughter died of illnesses.

See also: chekhov, anton pavlovich; journalism


Ambler, Effie. (1972). Russian Journalism and Politics: The Career of Aleksei S. Suvorin, 18611881. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

Bartol, R. (1974). "Aleksei Suvorin: Russia's Millionaire Publisher." Journalism Quarterly 51:411417.

Charles A. Ruud