Anton Chekhov's homeland from the British point of view

The Melikhovo estate, located 55 km from Moscow, is one of the main museums devoted to the work of Anton Chekhov, who lived here with his family for seven years, in which time he composed “The Seagull,” “Uncle Vanya” and “Cherry orchard.”

Chekhov purchased Melikhovo in 1892 and lived there until 1899, when an outbreak of tuberculosis forced him to relocate to Crimea.

Melikhovo had previously been owned by a theater artist, who designed the main house in the style of a theater set with stained-glass and lancet windows and a porch, resembling a fairy-tale castle. Inside the house the layout and decor have been recreated exactly as they were when Chekhov lived there. Besides the main house there is also a garden with a bell, which was rung to summon the residents to the dining table, and a small outhouse, where Chekhov wrote “The Seagull.” A notebook belonging to Chekhov, in which the writer and keen horticulturalist had kept a record of all his plantations, was discovered and used to restore the garden.

At Melikhovo RBTH met British writer Flora Fraser, who shared her impressions:

“It's wonderful to be here at the Chekhov estate. I first became interested in visiting writers’ homes when I visited Chekhov’s house museum in Moscow, a very long time ago, in 1973. And today, so many years later and in a different Russia, I see Chekhov’s pince-nez inside his house here… The best way one can connect with a writer – whether one’s a fellow writer or a reader – is to sit here and think about his stories, all the plays.”

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