Books by Leo Tolstoy
Books about Leo Tolstoy

Biography: Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy was born to a wealthy family of landowners in 1828 in Russia's Tula province. He studied Oriental laguages and law at the University of Kazan and then led a life of pleasure until 1851, when he fought as a member of an artillery regiment in the Crimean War. After participating in the defense of Sebastopol, Tolstoy wrote The Sebastopol Stories, which established his reputation.

He married in 1862 and had 13 children over the next 15 years. During that time he managed his vast estates; studied and implemented educational methods in order to help the local peasant population; and wrote his two greatest works: War and Peace (1865-68) and Anna Karenina (1874-76).

A Confession, which he wrote from 1879-92, marked a change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist. In a series of pamphlets he wrote after 1880, Tolstoy rejected the Church and State, renounced the demands of the flesh and denounced ownership of private property. His writing earned him many followers in Russia and abroad, but also generated strong opposition. In 1901, Tolstoy was excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church.

He died in 1910 during a journey, at the small railway station of Astapovo in Russia, seven years before the revolution that transformed Russian history and politics.



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