Anton Chekhov in the 19th Century

"The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it." - Anton Chekhov

Please talk to me, Amy. I know it's difficult for you to decide whether to live in the 19th century or the 21st century, but the time has come. Are you there, Amy?


Okay then. You have to come out of hiding and let me know if you are staying in 1868, or returning to the 21st century. I can't proceed with writing about you if I don't know what century you've decided on.

The decision is totally yours.

Ya, but basically you gotta help me, right? I mean, how can I choose?
You haven't even let me know what's been happening  in the 21st century, like, for a whole year. 

Well, Amy ... the truth is that I didn't want to sway your decision in any way. 

I can tell you about hurricanes, floods, droughts, bomb threats, racial issues, terrorism, mistrust of governments, genocide, poverty, growing wealth disparities, pollution, unfair treatment of the Indigenous peoples, religious based conflicts, right to choose discord, gender bias ...

Or I can tell you that things may improve in the coming year with uncomfortable effort. I can tell you that people putting aside their differences to work as one might start to happen; that you could be part of the most wonderful time in history when world leaders gather together to bring greater peace to the world and calm to the planet.

can tell you that in the 21st century you will no doubt live into your eighties. In the 19th century, it is possible you will survive into your forties.

I can tell you of the advances in 21st century medicine, where women are making huge strides in the battle against illness and are improving the quality of life to countless patients.

I can tell you that young women in modern Canada are free to make their own choices, to own their own property and vote for their rights.


I hafta think about everything. You gotta give me more time! 

I told ya Charlotte's havin' a baby, right? I mean, sure she's got maids and everything ... and what about Barker? What if I never find a guy as good as him in the 21st century?

But maybe I could make a difference there. Maybe I could change things for the better somehow ...


"The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility, and all these petty squabbles."
                                   - Anton Chekhov


Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in Taganrog, Russia in 1860, just eight years before 1868, when you currently exist. He will become a famous short story writer and playwright and through his success, will support his parents and siblings financially.

In the 1880s, Chekhov will practice as a physician, often treating his patients for free. During the same period, will write short fiction such as "The Steppe", which will become a major success, earning the author the Pushkin Prize in 1888. 
He will oversee the completion of three schools to help the local communities. 

Through the 1890s until his death in 1904 at the age of 44, Chekhov will continue to write plays such as "The Seagull" (1895) and "Uncle Vanya" (1897). Short stories will include "The Lady with the Dog" and "Ward No. 6".

In 1901, Anton Chekhov will marry an actress from the Moscow Art Theatre, Olga Knipper.

Their union will provide no children, partly due to the distance between them - Anton will live in Yalta while Olga pursues her acting career in Moscow. They will correspond with one another through letters.

Anton Chekhov will succumb to tuberculosis during a stay at a German health retreat where he seeks treatment; Olga is by his side.

His body will be returned to Moscow for his funeral.

"One must be a god to be able to tell successes from failures without making a mistake."
                                                   -Anton Chekhov