“Chekhov Shorts” : The Marshal’s Widow

Title: The Marshal’s Widow
Date Read: 25 November 2008
Word Count: 1518
Briefly: On the anniversary of his death, the widow of Trifon Lvovitch hosts a remembrance service in his name. His former friends and colleagues are gathered and are treated to a sumptuous banquet, which perhaps reveals an ulterior motive for attendance. One thing is amiss though, because Lvovitch death was due to alcohol excess all alcohol is banned from the event. Desperate, the guests begin to take an interest in Marfutkin’s greatcoat which is hanging in the vestibule.
Afterthoughts: This is an exquisite little tale with epitomises Chekhov’s ability to write warm, entertaining humour. It’s a story that stays strong throughout and ends on a glorious note. Loved it!
Notable Quote: “The lunch is certainly exceptional. Everything that the flora and fauna of the country can furnish is on the table, but the only thing supernatural about it, perhaps, is that on the table there is everything except . . . alcoholic beverages. Lyubov Petrovna has taken a vow never to have in her house cards or spirituous liquors — the two sources of her husband’s ruin. And the only bottles contain oil and vinegar, as though in mockery and chastisement of the guests who are to a man desperately fond of the bottle, and given to tippling. ”

Rating: ★★★★★

*Story read as part of my Checking Off The Chekhov Shorts reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).