This play, written by Maxim Gorky in 1902, was widely produced across Europe and made Gorky’s reputation as the father of socialist realist writing.
Gorky experienced the vicissitudes of life. He lost his father at five years old and ended up living in his grandfather’s house where everyone was “choked by a fog of mutual hostility”. After his mother died he was kicked out and left to fend for himself aged eleven. He spent five years wandering across Russia.