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Chekhov A. Letter from the Don’s landowner Stepan Vladimirovich N. Spb., 1880.

«Letter from the Don’s landowner Stepan Vladimirovich N to his scholarly neighbor Dr. Friedrich». Strekoza (Dragonfly). Comic literary magazine under I.F. Vasilevsky. Weekly edition. Saint-Petersburg, fifth year [1880], 9th March, No. 10. Format — 42,5x30,5 cm. In good condition. Page 6. A.P. Chekhov. «Letter from the Don’s landowner Stepan Vladimirovich N to his scholarly neighbor Dr. Friedrich». 3 COLUMNS! Strekoza archives. Signature: «… ъ» (not even Chekhonte!). The first Chekhov’s publication! Extremely rare! It’s a great culture and historic object.


1. Masanov, I.F. Bibliography of works of A.P. Chekhov. Moscow, 1906, p. 3.

2. The Chronicle of life and works of A.P. Chekhov, Vol. 1, Moscow, 2000, pp. 60-170.

The first Chekhov’s publication officially recognized both by the author and literary critics. The history of publication of the Letter by the student Antosha was fast and inevitable for material and other easons: his eldest brother was already a seasoned «scribbler»… After he sent the story «Skuchayushchiye filantropy» (Bored philanthropists) by Antosha Chekhonte to the edition of the Budilnik (Alarm Clock) magazine early November 1879, he was rejected (it was the first mentioning — in a rejection! — of the pseudonym, which given to him during school years by Fedya Pokrovsky). Anton did not give up. In late December he sent the Letter to the Petersburg weekly comic magazine «Strekoza» and waited the whole month for their reply. On January 13, 1880, the newspaper published the long awaited reply: «Moscow, Drachevka, to Mr. A. Chekhov. Not bad. The sent stuff will be posted. We bless you for further assistance», and on January 20 I.F. Vasilevsky, editor-in-chief, himself sent a letter: «Dear Sir, Our Editors have the honour to inform you that the story, which you have sent to us, was well written and will be posted in the magazine. The royalty offered by the editorial body is 5 kopeks per line.» So, on March 9, 1880, the 10th issue published the Letter, together with the tiny humoresque «What is more often encountered in novels, stories, etc.?» His sister Maria recalled: «I did not attach much importance to the first thing written by Anton Pavlovich «Letter to the scolarly neighbor» published in Strekoza. Also, I had heard before that my brother had published somewhere his wits, anecdotes, episodes (3 humoresques published by Antosha earlier, of which he kept rejecting his authorship throughout his life). I remember only that we were laughed when reading this Letter. It was about everyday things. No one noticed, except for I.F. Vasilevsky, a birth of the Great Writer… Rarity!


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