World Renowned Russian Author Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy is a legendary Russian author. His works have been translated and distributed the world over and include classics such as “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina”. Popular throughout the world, Leo Tolstoy's works have stood the test of time and proved that their influence is lasting. Leo Tolstoy took on many roles during his lifetime including novelist, philosopher, pacifist, moral thinker, Christian anarchist and educational reformer. Tolstoy certainly led an interesting life, leaving an indelible mark on history.

Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, the Tolstoy family estate, on 28 August 1828. From an early age Tolstoy had an active imagination. Sadly he lost his mother at a very early age. Then at the age of nine Leo Tolstoy's father also died, and soon afterwards his grandmother too. This led the young boy to begin thinking deeply on matters of happiness and death. Tolstoy was not keen on University, but was eventually persuaded by his aunt to attend. He took a greater interest in social aspects of University rather than the academic side of things. However, he was self conscious of his unusual looks and didn't make many friends.

Despite his sad start, Leo Tolstoy went on to create many great works of literature and received much acclaim. In his fictional works Tolstoy made Russian society come alive. Reading his realistic works will transport you right into Russian life. “Childhood”, “Boyhood” and “Youth”, autobiographical novels, were Tolstoy's first. This books are noted for their universal relevance to growing up. In “Sevastapol Sketches” he tells of his years as a second lieutenant during the Crimean War. It was this stage of his life that created in him a pacifist. “The Cossacks”, though not completed, gives insight into Cossack life and was described as one of the greatest texts in the Russian language.

Tolstoy's greatest known and most acclaimed novel is “War and Peace”. This extensive, yet harmonious writing encompasses 580 characters, both fictional and historical. Covering great distances and settings, the novel truly delves into Leo Tolstoy's own theory of history. Tolstoy's “Anna Karenina” is said to be one of his most sophisticated works, beautifully constructed. Telling parallel stories, this novel takes people on a journey. “Resurrection” was Tolstoy's final novel and gives readers a look into his views of life.

Contemporaries of Tolstoy held him in high regard. In fact, he was even compared to Shakespeare by Gustave Flaubert. Over the years literary critics and other fine novelists have remarked on the greatness of Leo Tolstoy's novels. Leo Tolstoy's writings are filled with passion, careful thought and beautiful language, a real treat to readers.


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