(1860-1904) Russian dramatist and writer of short stories. His plays concentrate on the creation of atmosphere and delineation of internal development, rather than external action. His first play, Ivanov 1887, was a failure, as was The Sea gull 1896 until revived by Stanislavsky 1898 at the Moscow Art Theatre, for which Chekhov went on to write his finest plays: Uncle Vanya 1897, The Three Sisters 1901, and The Cherry Orchard 1904.
Chekhov was born in Taganrog, S Russia. He qualified as a doctor 1884, but devoted himself to writing short stories rather than practising medicine. The collection Particolored Stories 1886 consolidated his reputation and gave him leisure to develop his style, as seen in My Life 1895, The Lady with the Dog 1898, and In the Ravine 1900.