SEVEN YEARS IN MELIKHOVO

Author: Julia BALABANOVA,

by Julia BALABANOVA, department head, Department of Development, Information Technologies and Public Relations; Chekhov Memorial Museum at Melikhovo, Moscow Region, Russia

The Melikhovo memorial estate of the great Russian story writer Anton Chekhov is among this country's foremost museums. For seven years, from 1892 to 1899, Chekhov lived there together with his next of kin. It is here, at Melikhovo, that he created over forty world-famous masterpieces of his, such as the long and short stories Ward Six, Rothschild's Violin, The Women's Kingdom, The Student, The Black Monk, The Muzhiks, lonych, About Love, Anna on the Neck, Three Years, The House with a Mezzanine as well as the plays The Seagull and Uncle Vanya. The Chekhov memorial museum, dedicated back in the 1940s, has over 25 thousand items in its stock. Our guests can see for themselves what Melikhovo looked like when its host was there and, what is most important, what Anton Chekhov was like in those years.

THE MELIKHOVO ESTATE PURCHASED

"I am awfully fond of what we in Russia call an imenie (country estate). This word has not lost its poetic flavor yet," Anton Chekhov wrote in October 1885 to Nikolai Leikin, the publisher of the fun magazine Oskolki (Fragments). Seven years after that he purchased a small estate at Melikhovo, twelve versts (about 8 miles) away from the railway station Lopasnya south of Moscow. So it did not happen by chance—the writer had a longtime dream of moving out of town, over to the countryside. Besides, he needed a bit of fresh air to recover after a long journey to Sakhalin in the Far East that harmed his health. Upon his return from that journey, Chekhov said in one of his letters, "If I am a physician, I want patients and a hospital; if I am a man of letters, I must live amongst people, but not on Malaya Dmitrovka [a street ...

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