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Alecsandri, Vasile

(b. June 14, 1821, Bacau, Moldavia--d. Aug. 22, 1890, Mircesti, Rom.), lyric poet and dramatist, the first collector of Romanian popular songs and a leader of the movement for the union of the Romanian principalities.

Alecsandri was educated at Iasi and subsequently in Paris (1834-39). He published his first collection of folk songs in 1844 and was also active in the Romanian revolutionary cause.

His lyrical poems, Doine si lacrimioare, appeared in Paris in 1853, and during 1852-53 he published at Iasi two volumes of ballads and songs. In 1868-75 he published his descriptive poems of landscapes, entitled Pasteluri. As a playwright he created Romanian social comedy, but his most important contributions to the theatre were his poetic dramas: Despot Voda (1879), Fântâna Blanduziei (1883; "Blanduzia's Fountain"), and Ovidiu (1885; "Ovid").

In later life Alecsandri played an important part in his country's affairs. As minister for foreign affairs (1859-60), he went to London as Prince Alexandru Cuza's special envoy to seek British recognition of the United Romanian Principalities. In 1885 he was appointed Romanian minister in Paris.


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