My history hero: Anton Chekhov (1860–1904)

Chosen by Alan Davies, comedian, actor and writer

Anton Chekhov (1860–1904), pictured here c1895, is one of the most important figures in modern Russian literature. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the April 2010 issue of BBC History Magazine

Anton Chekhov was a brilliant Russian author of short stories and drama. He grew up in Taganrog, where he had a tough upbringing, contending with a domineering father. Chekhov wrote from a young age but also trained as a doctor and continued in this profession even as his literary fame grew. His short stories brought him attention in the late 1880s and his star rose further when he turned his hand to drama, with The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and The Seagull among his most acclaimed works. Towards the end of his life Chekhov suffered from poor health, dying of tuberculosis in 1904, aged 44.

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