- 17 January 1860
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov born in Taganrog, Southern Russia, one of six children
of a grocer, and grandson of a former serf.
- 1879 to 1892
Lives in Moscow, obtaining his medical degree at the University in 1884.
After publishing many humorous short stories to support his family, he gradually
turns to more serious writing, while still practising as a doctor. By 1888 he
is contributing stories to the literary monthlies: a sign that he is now accepted
as a major author.
- 15 November 1887
Ivanov, Chekhov's first play to be staged, is premiered in Moscow.
- 27 December 1889
First staging of The Wood Demon (later used as raw material
for Uncle Vanya).
Visits the penal settlement on the island of Sakhalin, beyond eastern Siberia
to take a census. The journey of 6500 miles, travelling largely in unsprung
carts over unsurfaced roads, is appalling.
Buys an estate near the village of Melikhovo, south of Moscow, and lives
there with his family until 1898: his greatest period of creativity as a short
story writer. While at Melikhovo, he acts as district medical administrator,
successfully organises campaigns against cholera, and helps finance new local
- 17 October 1896
Disastrous premiere of The Seagull in St Petersburg.
Moves to the Crimean resort of Yalta for the sake of his health: he had suffered
from tuberculosis for some years. First sees Olga Knipper (who was later to
become his mistress and then his wife) playing Irina in the Moscow Art Theatre
revival of The Seagull.
Works for famine relief in the central Volga region, and in Yalta sets up
a sanatorium "for the needy suffering from consumption".
- 26 October 1899
First staging of Uncle Vanya, at the Moscow Art Theatre, with
Olga Knipper as Yelena and Stanislavsky as Astrov. (The play's English premiere
was in 1914).
- 31 January 1901
Three Sisters is premiered, and rather poorly received, at the
Moscow Art Theatre, with Olga Knipper as Masha.
- 25 May 1901
Marries Olga Knipper and they travel to a sanatorium near the Aksenovo spa.
- 17 January 1904
The Cherry Orchard is premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre on
Chekhov's 44th birthday; Olga as Ranevskaya.
- 2 July 1904
Chekhov dies on a visit to the German spa, Badenweiler.