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The Lady with the Pet Dog

by Anton Chekhov

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How was Anton Chekov's "The Lady with the Pet Dog" received upon its 1899 publication?

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Anton Chekov achieved literary acclaim based on two forms of writing he used: the play and the short story. Because Chekov was ill, fighting tuberculosis, he moved to the region of Yalta in hopes of improving his health.  (The short story mentioned in this post opens in Yalta.)

It was here, in 1899, that he wrote and published, "The Lady with the Pet Dog." It is a sad tale of Dmitri and Anna, both unhappily married to someone else, who happen to meet at a vacation spot and begin an affair. They go their separate ways, but over time, they meet again: both admit they have been unable to forget the other. Dmitri realizes he has finally fallen in love, but the couple is unsure how to proceed, and the story ends on that unresolved note.

"The Lady with the Pet Dog" was first published in the magazine,  Russkaya Mysl (Russian Thought). It is a much anthologized story; only four years later the story was first published in English.

[It] is considered one of Chekhov's best-known stories.


In Yalta, Chekhov wrote one of his most famous stories, The Lady with the Dog (also called Lady with Lapdog), which depicts what at first seems a casual liaison between a married man and a married woman in Yalta. Neither expects anything lasting from the encounter, but they find themselves drawn back to each other, risking the security of their family lives.

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