In 1890, the 30-year-old Chekhov, already knowing that he was ill with tuberculosis, undertook an arduous 11-week journey from Moscow across Siberia to the penal colony on the island of Sakhalin. Now collected here in one volume are the fully annotated translations of his impressions of his trip through Siberia, and the account of his three-month sojourn on Sakhalin Island, together with author's notes, extracts from Chekhov's letters to relatives and associates, and photographs. Highly valuable both as a detailed depiction of the Tsarist system of penal servitude and as an insight into Chekhov's motivations and objectives for visiting the colony and writing the expose, Sakhalin Island is a haunting work of tremendous importance which had a huge impact both on Chekhov's subsequent work and on Russian society.
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Note on the Text
A Selection of Chekhovs Letters
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administration Aino Alexandrovsk Alexandrovsk District already Amur Aniva Arkovo arrived asked Baikal birch boat bread cabin called cell cent chekhovs note church clothing coast cohabitant cold convict labour copecks Derbinskoye desyatins District Governor doctor Dooay Duyka escape European Russia exile colony female fish free-status funty Gilyaks hard labour horses householders husband inhabitants Japanese Kononovich Korsakovsk District Korsakovsk Post land live mainland married military Moscow mountains murder night Nikolayevsk officials overseers peasant peasant-in-exile penal labour penal servitude poods population Primorskaya Region Prison Governor punishment river road roubles round Russian Rykovo Sakhalin Island sazhens Sea of Okhotsk sentence settled exiles settlement shore Siberia soldiers southern Sakhalin St Petersburg steamer Suvorin taiga Takoay Tatar thing told Tomsk travelling Tymovsk District vagabonds versts village Vladivostok vodka Voyevodsk Prison whole wife winter woman women write yurts