Leo Tolstoy is well known for his works War and Peace (1865–69) and Anna Karenina (1875–77), which are often regarded as among the best novels ever written. He was also a prolific writer of short stories, essays, and reviews. His influence on European literature and culture is immense.
Tolstoy was born on September 27, 1828 in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. The family name comes from their residence, a small village called Tolstygokhia near Kiev. He was educated at home by private tutors and then entered the military college in St Petersburg. Disillusioned with the life of a soldier, he decided to pursue studies abroad and settled in Munich where he met Friedrich Nietzsche who became one of his close friends. In 1851 he returned to Russia and worked as an educational inspector but soon after that he resigned to live as a farmer in exile on his estate in Tula Province. There he wrote many of his famous works including novels, poems, and plays. In 1866 he was appointed editor of the newspaper Russkaya Mysl (Russian Thought) but was forced to quit when its political stance became too controversial.
In 1867 he married Louiza Abrikosova, with whom he had six children.
Tolstoy is most renowned for his two longest works, War and Peace (1865–69) and Anna Karenina (1875–77), both of which are often considered to be among the best novels ever written. For many readers and reviewers, War and Peace, in particular, appears to almost define this form. It is estimated that it takes a human being on average 200000 hours to read through War and Peace from start to finish.
In addition to these major works, Tolstoy also published numerous short stories and poems during his lifetime. His first novel, Pierre Bezukhov's destiny in life...
...and other stories, was published in 1852 when he was just twenty-one years old. This book was followed by another twelve titles over the next seven years, all of which were very successful with the public. In addition to writing books, essays, and reviews, Tolstoy also had a daily newspaper column that he wrote for several months in 1865—a period during which he managed to offend nearly every aspect of Russian society. The last work he completed before dying at the age of 57 was a memoir called My Life, which was published in 1910.
So, among other things, Tolstoy wrote about war and peace, love and marriage, good and evil. He also dealt with such topics as religious faith, individual responsibility, and the meaning of life.
Count Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was a Russian author of novels, short stories, plays, and philosophical essays. He is best known for his epic novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, which are recognized as two of the finest works of Russian literature.
Here are the seven that have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature:
Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time, which inspired Tchaikovsky's famous work
Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, a long poem about a young man's journey through life
Tolstoy's War and Peace, one of the longest novels in history
Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, a novel that deals with social class differences in 19th-century Russia
Zamyadi's The Overcoat, a satirical look at Russian life during the early 20th century
Leo Tolstoy was born on April 6, 1828 in Yasnaya Polyana, Russian Empire (now Russia). His father, Leo Nikolayevich, was a wealthy landowner and amateur writer who died when Count Tolstoy was only nine years old. After his death, his mother, Maria Nikolayevna, brought up her three children alone.