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Chekhov House-Museum, Russia

Experienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyager Joshua Brook
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The prolific and highly regarded Russian dramatist and master of the modern short story, Anton Chekhov, lived in the pink two-story house on Ulitsa Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya with his family between the autumn of 1886 and the spring of 1890. Born in 1860 into a serf family in Taganrog, Chekhov experienced a difficult and poor childhood. Having gone bankrupt, Chekhov moved to Moscow with the family to make a fresh start. Chekhov joined his family there in 1879 and enrolled in the Medical Faculty of Moscow State University, from which he graduated 5 years later. Having become a practicing doctor, Chekhov supported the rest of his family through free-lance earnings as a journalist and writer of comic sketches. By 1888 he had become widely popular with the lower classes as the author of anecdotes for humorous journals and in the process had turned the short comic sketch of about 1,000 words into a minor art form.

However, Chekhov experimented more and more with serious writing and gradually his works took on a more mature aspect. For the next few years the author concentrated exclusively on short stories, always realist in style, serious in conception but with a hint of underlying humor. Chekhov wrote hundreds of short stories before turning his hand to drama and creating some of Russia's best-loved and most frequently preformed theatrical pieces - "Uncle Vanya", "Three Sisters" and "The Seagull". The writer also lived and wrote in Melikhovo, south of the capital, and in Yalta, on the Crimean Coast.

The house-museum was perhaps the place of Chekhov's most fruitful artistic period. Not only did the writer balance a working medical practice and a notoriously active social life, but while resident in the house he wrote his first play "Ivanov", 3 one-act farces and over 100 short stories. Visitors have the opportunity to see Chekhov's study and consulting room, his modest bedroom and that of his student brother and the contrastingly ornate family salon. Much of the dining room is now devoted to an exhibition of original playbills and first editions of Chekhov's works. The museum holds regular themed excursions and lectures about the author and his literary works. More info on: www.moscow-taxi.com

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