Download The Cherry Orchard PDF by Anton Chekhov published on 17 January 1904.
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About the Author
Anton Chekhov was born on January 29, 1860, in the small town of Taganrog, a port on the Sea of Azov in Russia. He was a grandson of a serf who bought his family‟s freedom before their emancipation. Chekov attended a Greek Parochial school as a child and later went on to attend the Taganrog Classical Gimnaziya (high school). He studied both Greek and Latin classics in school, which is the literary basis that led him into writing. His father ran a grocery store and went bankrupt in 1876, forcing Chekhov‟s family to flee to Moscow in order to avoid debtors prison. Three years later, Chekhov joined his family in Moscow and attended the medical school at Moscow University. Through his medical work, Chekhov had become the breadwinner of his family as his father could not find steady employment. He also began to obtain odd jobs as a freelance journalist and wrote comic sketches.
Inside this book
In the 19th century, Russia was the only nation in Europe that still clung to the ways of feudalism. Feudalism refers to a system of political organization, in which an elite individual called a “lord” has control over several common people who work for him. In Russia, the peasants who served the lord were called serfs. A serf is a laborer who is bound to the land. Serfs differ from slaves in that serfs were not property themselves and could not be sold apart from the land in which they worked. Serfdom was a hereditary state which was passed to the next generation. It evolved from agricultural slavery of the Roman Empire and spread through Europe in the 10th century and became dominant during the Middle Ages. In England, serfdom lasted up to the 17th century, in France until 1789. The last European country to abolish serfdom was Russia, in 1861. During the time that THE CHERRY ORCHARD was written, about fifty percent of Russian peasants were serfs.
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