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A Life in Lettersby Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Synopses & Reviews
In November 1910, Count Lev Tolstoy died at a remote Russian railway station. At the time of his death, he was the most famous man in Russia, with a growing international following, and more revered than the Tsar. Born into an aristocratic family, Tolstoy had spent his life rebelling not only against conventional ideas about literature and art but against traditional education, against family life, organized religion, and the state.
In this exceptional biography, Rosamund Bartlett draws extensively on key Russian sources, including much fascinating new material made available since the collapse of the Soviet Union. She sheds light on Tolstoy's remarkable journey from callow youth to writer to prophet; discusses his troubled relationship to his wife Sonya, a subject long neglected; and she vividly evokes the Russian landscapes Tolstoy so loved. Above all, she gives us an eloquent portrait of the brilliant, maddening, and contrary man who has, once again, been discovered by a new generation of readers.
From his teenage years in provincial Russia to his premature death in 1904, Anton Chekhov wrote thousands of letters to a wide range of correspondents. This fascinating new selection tells Chekhov's story as a man and a writer through affectionate bulletins to his family, insightful discussions of literature with publishers and theater directors, and tender love letters to his actress wife. Vividly evoking landscapes, people, and his daily life, the letters offer revealing glimpses into Chekhov's preoccupations-the onset of tuberculosis, his dual careers as doctor and writer, and his ambivalence about his growing reputation as Russia's foremost playwright and author. This volume takes us inside the mind of one of the world's greatest writers, and the character that emerges from these pages is resilient, generous, charming, and life enhancing.
The first uncensored edition of the letters in any language, with previously un-published material from Russian archives. Published to mark the centenary of Chekhov's death in July.
About the Author
Rosamund Bartlett lectures on Russian and music at the University of Durham.
Anthony Phillips translated the letters of Dmitry Shostakovich published as Story of a Friendship.
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