Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be one of the greatest writers in the world. 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 theatre. Chekhov was a doctor by profession. "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."