A Month in the Country was written during the 1840s and completed in 1850 when Turgenev was thirty-two. Prior to this play, Turgenev had also written poetry and short stories. His literary reputation was established in 1843 with the publication of Parasha, a romantic story written in verse. Despite Turgenev's past successes, A Month in the Country was not permitted to be staged by the censor when it was first published. As a result, the disheartened Turgenev, who already did not think highly of his plays, gave up writing for the theater. Instead, he turned his talents toward novel writing, and by the end of the 1850s, society and the government were prepared to receive his next literary offerings.
Tsar Alexander II had come to power and in the midst of a political climate still fraught with division, Turgenev's novels managed to appeal to people with diverse political perspectives. His works became the most widely read and often the most hotly debated. A Month in the Country was a gateway to this fame and is often attributed with developing Turgenev's craft as a writer. The play was first staged in Moscow in 1872 and is often likened to Honore de Balzac's The Stepdaughter. A Month in the Country's first showing was not received very well; however, after a famous actress performed it in 1879, the play became a success. It is still widely performed today and because of its timeless themes of youth, freedom, and love, it is likely to continue attracting admirers well into the next century.