Leo Tolstoy

Russian writer Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Никола́евич Толто Was Born 9 September [O.S. 28 August] 1828 He primarily wrote novels and short stories. Tolstoy was a master of realistic fiction and is widely considered one of the world’s greatest novelists.Tolstoy first achieved literary acclaim in his 20s for hisSevastopol Sketches (1855), based on his experiences in the Crimean War, followed by the publication of a semi-autobiographical trilogy of novels, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth (1855-1858). His fiction output also includes two additional novels, dozens of short stories, and several famous novellas, including The Death of Ivan Ilych, Family Happiness andHadji Murad. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays.

He is best known for two long novels, War and Peace(1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). War and Peace chronicles the history of the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society through the stories of five Russian aristocratic families. Portions of an earlier version, titled The Year 1805, were serialized in The Russian Messenger from 1865 to 1867. The novel was first published in its entirety in 1869.

Anna Karenina is the tragic story of a married aristocrat/socialite and her affair with the affluent Count Vronsky. The story starts when she arrives in the midst of a family broken up by her brother’s unbridled womanizing. Then a bachelor, Vronsky asks her to leave her husband Karenin, a senior government official and marry him instead, however she is vulnerable to the pressures of Russian social norms, the moral laws of the Russian Orthodox Church, her own insecurities, and Karenin’s indecision. Although Vronsky and Anna go to Italy, where they can be together, they have trouble making friends. Back in Russia, she is shunned, becoming further isolated and anxious, while Vronsky pursues his social life. Despite Vronsky’s reassurances, she grows increasingly possessive and paranoid about his imagined infidelity, fearing loss of control.

A parallel story within the novel is that of Konstantin Lëvin or Ljovin, a wealthy country landowner who wants to marry Princess Kitty, sister to Dolly and sister-in-law to Anna’s brother Oblonsky. Konstantin has to propose twice before Kitty accepts. The novel details Konstantin’s difficulties managing his estate, his eventual marriage, and his struggle to accept the Christian faith, until the birth of his first child. Anna Karenina is also an evaluation of the feudal system that existed in Russia at the time—politics, not only in the Russian government but also at the level of the individual characters and families, religion, morality, gender and social class.

Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist.

Tolstoy sadly passed away 29 November 1910 however His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr and his epic sweeping novels such as Anna Kerenina and War and Peace are still rightly regarded as classics and have also been adapted for film and television many times

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