Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, commonly known as Lev Tolstoy, was a a Russian writer, philosopher and political thinker. Nowadays, he is best known for his novels and short stories. He was a master of realistic fiction and is considered to be one of the world’s greatest novelists. His best known novels are “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina”.
Lev Tolstoy was born in Yasnaya Polyana, his family’s estate that was located in the Tula region of Russia. His family was part of the old Russian nobility and the author was the fourth out of five children. His parents, Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy and Countess Mariya Tolstaya (Volkonskaya) both died when he was very young. As a result he and his siblings were raised by relatives. He received his primary education at home with French and German tutors. In 1843, he enrolled in an Oriental languages program at the University of Kazan. His professors called him unwilling to learn and his low grades forced him to move to an easier law program. Due to partying in excess, he left the University in 1847, having failed to obtain his degree.
Tolstoy returned home and tried his hand at becoming a farmer. Failing this, he accepted the advice of his brother Nikolay and joined the Army as a junker. In 1854 he began fighting in the Crimean War until August 1855. During his quiet periods as a junker, he started working on an autobiographic work called “Childhood”. In 1852 this work was accepted by The Contemporary and it became the author’s first published work.
In the next years, more works followed suit. “Boyhood” ( 1854 ) was the second part in Lev Tolstoy’s autobiographic trilogy. “Youth”, the last part came out in 1857. However, it wasn’t until 1869 that he published his first major work, “War and Peace.” The novel was immensely popular, and motivated by it, Tolstoy started working on “Anna Karenina” in 1873. The novel was published in installments between 1873 and 1877.
The author continued writing fiction through the 1880’s and 1890’s. He died in November 20, 1910 and was buried at his family estate. Have you read any of Lev Tolstoy’s works?
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