1828 - 1910: The Centennial AnniversaryLeo Tolstoy was one of the greatest novelists of all time.
He wrote Anna Karenina and War and Peace.
He was an essayist and thinker, social reformer and family man.
Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy lived through a tumultuous time in Russian history. He was born in 1828, just after an unsuccessful uprising against the autocracy, and died in 1910, seven years before the Russian Revolution, which brought tsarist rule to an end and ushered in communism.
He witnessed the abolition of serfdom, the enormous effect of the industrial revolution, the introduction of trains and cars, and many other occurrences that changed the face of Russian society.
His body of work includes novels, short stories, writings on war and many essays on a range of topics including religion, the poverty of the lower class and inequality.
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Leo Tolstoy is born into the aristocracy on August 28, 1828, on a country estate called Yasnaya Polyana, 190 kilometres south of Moscow. His ancestors include brave knights, famous Vikings, military heroes and confidantes of Tsars...
After dropping out of university Leo Tolstoy finds it hard to settle down. He can’t decide whether to live in the city or the country, or whether to strive for self perfection or embrace the idleness of the aristocratic class he was born into...
of the man
In the prime of his life Leo Tolstoy is a man of contradictions who suffers terribly from rotten teeth and has a tortured relationship with the opposite sex. His uncontrollable sexual impulses make him fear the power women have over him, colouring his views on love and marriage...
Leo Tolstoy’s body of work demonstrates extraordinary powers of observation, an exacting ability to recreate life and superb skill as a storyteller. It is a window into his life and into Russia in the 1800s. It also mirrors the way people everywhere think and feel, and the complexity of human psychology...
From the age of 50, Tolstoy’s focus turns away from literature and towards philosophical and religious writings. In part this is because his fears about death and his obsession about finding a meaning to life lead him to God and spirituality...
As an old man Leo Tolstoy is very quick to publicly criticise the State but, unlike many of his contemporaries, he escapes being exiled. Being born into the aristocracy helps, because he has friends in high places, but so does his extraordinary level of influence at home and abroad...