Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860 - 1904) was a Russian playwright and short story writer, who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theater. Chekhov practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife," he once said, "and literature is my mistress." Constance Clara Garnett (1861 - 1946) was an English translator of nineteenth-century Russian literature. Garnett was one of the first English translators of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anton Chekhov and introduced them on a wide basis to the English-speaking public.