Thursday, April 9, 2015
Anton Chekov and Olga Knipper
Born on January 29, 1860 in the South of Russia, Anton Chekov was the middle child in a family of six children. He always claimed to get his talents from his father, but his soul from his mother.
Yevgeniya was an excellent storyteller, who related spell binding tales of her travels all over Russia before she was wed to Anton's tyrannical father.
It was no wonder that years later, when Anton met and fell in love with the talented and high-spirited actress, Olga Knipper, he was reluctant to marry. He feared that the institution of marriage would be too much of a burden for the romance they shared.
Chekov was considered one of Russia's most eligible bachelors when he met Olga during rehearsals for his play, The Seagull. The young actresses volatile and emotional personality attracted the handsome play-write and kept him "on his toes".
Chekov, who had advanced tuberculosis, continued contact with Olga during his attempts at recuperation in Yalta. Flirtation turned to deep affection and he worried about committing himself to someone ten years his junior knowing he was gravely ill.
Olga, in frustration, wrote to his sister, "Can anyone come to a decision with him?"
Finally on May 25,1901 Olga and Anton were married in a secret ceremony.
Anton's illness and Olga's career made long separation a continued part of their lives together. Despite this they stayed in love and remained together until Chekov's death on July 1,1904.
He wrote to Olga,
"We have one fault in common, we married each other too late."