FRANKLIN LIBRARY LEATHER The Seagull CHEKHOV 8 PLAYS

FRANKLIN LIBRARY

ANTON CHEKHOV

EIGHT PLAYS

Translated by Elisaveta Fen

Beautiful Topgrain Full Leather Limited Edition

THE 18th BOOK IN "THE 100 GREATEST BOOKS OF ALL TIME" COLLECTION

Anton Chekhov was a realist. He believed that we human beings can better our lot only after being led to see our true natures. Perhaps no playwright in the modern theatre has been more warm or generous than Chekhov, and none has invested more human value in drama. Yet there are few who have been so candid in the stark portrayal of the human dilemma.

In 1861, one year after Chekhov was born, Czar Alexander II emancipated the serfs, who comprised more than eighty percent of the Russian population. Yet economic realities remained virtually unchanged in the benighted Russian villages, and the peasants became the new victims of a bureaucratic labyrinth from which escape was nearly impossible. They were only just beginning to emerge from the worst of conditions, characterized by malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, debt and resentment. Chekhov was raised by a father who was born a serf, and he had little tolerance for the literary works of the time that tended to idealize and romanticize the simple life style of the peasants, for he knew them to be untrue.

Chekhov was only 44 years old
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