Dear Writer Dear Actress


Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper

15/03/2007 | Paperback |

ISBN: 9780413776372

About Dear Writer Dear Actress


'An extraordinary relationship and Benedetti does an extraordinary job in presenting it here' Irish Times


The five year friendship and marriage of the writer Anton Chekhov and the actress Olga Knipper, who created many of the central female roles in his plays, is one of the most extraordinary love stories in the history of the theatre. Because of Knipper's work at the Moscow Art Theatre and Chekhov's illness, which bound him to Yalta, their relationship flourished through a constant stream of letters between them.


Temperamentally the actress and writer were at odds, and their correspondence reveals a relationship as tempestuous, teasing and spontaneous as the many relationships found in Chekhov's stories and plays. This selection is the passionate and enduring record of their love affair.


Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) first turned to writing as a medical student at Moscow University, from which he graduated in 1884. The first three full-length plays to be staged, Ivanov (1887), The Wood Demon (1889) and The Seagull (1896) were initially failures. But the Moscow Arts Theatre's revival of The Seagull two years later was successful and was followed by his masterpieces Uncle Vanya (1889), Three Sisters (1901), and The Cherry Orchard in 1904, the year of his death.


Olga Knipper


Olga Knipper (1868-1959) was one of the original members of the Moscow Art Theatre, founded by Constantin Stanislavski in 1898. Knipper was married to Anton Chekhov from 1901 until Chekhov's death in 1904.





'This fascinating and moving correspondence lasted only five years and ended with Chekhov's death, but it charts the story of an extraordinary marriage and offers a wonderful glimpse of the playwright at work'

The Observer



'An illuminating and heartfelt volume . . . Benedetti's translations have a welcome contemporary flair and provide an enjoyable, romantic read'

Publishers Weekly

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