The Government Inspector Historical Context

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Under the reign of Tsar Nicholas I, Russian writers suffered extremely strict censorship of all written material. In 1826, a statute on censorship, according to Beresford, "prohibited the publication of any matter that was deemed to disparage the monarchy or the church or which criticized, even indirectly, the existing order of society." The years 1848-1855, particularly, were referred to as "the age of terror by censorship." Brown describes the crushing power of these censorship practices on Russian society: "Penalties included warnings, rebukes, fines, confiscations of offending books or magazines, police supervision or detention in the guardroom of local military garrisons." Brown concludes that "It was a wonder that anything got into print at all." Braun states that "Genuine Russian masterpieces" of dramatic writing "were suppressed by a pathologically suspicious censor and were destined to wait over thirty years for their first public performances." Literary historians agree that, had...

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The Government Inspector from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.