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This review is from: Chekhov: Scenes from a Life (Paperback)
In my opinion no better tribute can be paid to Chekhov than this low-key biography written in the spirit of the maestro himself. We follow the restless and industrious Chekhov from his formative years in Taganrog and the town's adjacent steppes via Moscow, St Petersburg, Melikhovo and Yalta, plus summers at the dachas, to his death in a health resort in the Black Forest in Germany - having lived for years on borrowed time due to his tuberculosis. As Rosamund Bartlett so eloquently states it: It may be difficult for a biographer to penetrate Chekhov's character through his relationship with other people. It is easier to get a glimpse of his character when we look at the sensitive relationship he had with his environment and how it manifested itself in his writing. Hence the structure of the biography.
After having read this biography one cannot but admire Chekhov for his self-control, humanitarian values and unsentimental attitude to life. He was a reserved man who hated self-promotion and being in the limelight. I think Bartlett through her informative, meticulous and above all unpretentious account of Chekhov's life really succeeds in conveying the author's sense of moral duty. It is not difficult to accept Bartlett's assertion that as a writer Chekhov was the leading light of his generation.