Swetchine, Or Svetcliin, Anne Sophie, a French writer, born in Moscow in 1782, died in Paris, Sept. 10, 1857. She was the granddaughter of Gen. Boltin, a translator of the Encyclopedic into Russian, and daughter of Soimonoff, one of the founders of the academy of sciences at Moscow, and private secretary to Catharine II., at whose court she was brought up. In 1799 she married Gen. Svetchin (born in 1758, died Nov. 23, 1850) to please her father, who was banished from St. Petersburg and died soon afterward at Moscow. Her mother having died, the education of her younger sister (the future princess Gregory Gagarin) devolved upon her, in addition to that of her husband's adopted daughter. At the same time she gathered round her the most eminent Russians and French emigrants, who cultivated her society even after the sudden removal in 1801 of her husband from his offices as military commandant and provisional governor of St. Petersburg. Her delicate health and her sorrow for the loss of her father increased her proneness to religious meditation, which was still further developed by her filial relations with the count Joseph de Maistre, French ambassador at the Russian court, although her final conversion in 1815 to Roman Catholicism was more directly ascribed to the writings of the abbe Fleury. As soon as the proscriptive measures against the Jesuits were announced, she publicly avowed her change of religion; and as it was feared that her ascendancy over the emperor Alexander might become as great as that of Mme. Kruidener, she was compelled to depart from Russia by vexatious proceedings against her husband on this and subsequent occasions.
She spent the winter of 1816-'17 in Paris. In 1818 she and her husband were at St. Petersburg, and she never returned again to Russia excepting once about 12 years later. After spending several years in Italy, she settled permanently in Paris in 1825. De Falloux, her literary executor, has published Mme. Sicetchine, sa vie et ses oeuvres (2 vols., 1859, vol. ii. comprising her Pensees, etc.); her Lettres (2 vols., 1862); Journal de sa conversion (1863); and Lettres inedites (1866). Harriet W. Preston has translated the "Life and Letters of Madame Swetchine" (Boston, 1867; 8th ed., 1875), and "The Writings of Madame Swetchine " (1869). See also Mme. Swetchine's correspondence with Lacor-daire (Paris, 1864), and with Lagrange (1875).