Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy (Lyof/Lev Tolstoi) | First Editions

1828 - 1910

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (9 September 1828 – 20 November 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He was also an important religious figure after the 1870s, when he experienced a profound moral crisis and subsequent spiritual awakening; Tolstoy's 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 20th-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Bevel. Thousands of peasants lined the streets of Tolstoy's funeral procession in mourning, despite his wealthy, aristocratic Russian roots.

Today, Tolstoy is is best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction. He first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, ChildhoodBoyhood, and Youth (1852–1856), and Sevastopol Sketches (1855), based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. His other fiction includes dozens of short stories, and several novellas. 

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