Leo Tolstoy
AUTHOR

Leo Tolstoy

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, where he spent most of his early years, together with his several brothers. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851. He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before travelling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879-82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home 'leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude'; dying some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo.

Read more Read less

Best Sellers

    • Anna Karenina

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: David Horovitch
    • Length: 38 hrs
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 703
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 516
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 516

    Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A gem

    • By Deborah on 12-06-09

    Regular price: £21.99

    • War and Peace

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
    • Length: 61 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 206
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 137
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 134

    Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • I knew I'd never read it

    • By Judith on 09-08-08

    Regular price: £39.39

    • War and Peace, Volume 1

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: Neville Jason
    • Length: 30 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 651
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 475
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 477

    War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • An epic reading

    • By Francis on 01-05-07

    Regular price: £32.89

    • Anna Karenina

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: Maggie Gyllenhaal
    • Length: 35 hrs and 35 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 302
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 280
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 277

    Leo Tolstoy's classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A book for reading

    • By S. Perry on 22-04-17

    Regular price: £37.49

    • Anna Karenina

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: Kate Lock
    • Length: 40 hrs and 58 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 45
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 30
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 31

    Anna Karenina is beautiful, married to a successful man, and has a son whom she adores....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • a real pain to download

    • By Aniko on 07-08-13

    Regular price: £36.69

    • Resurrection

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 16 hrs and 52 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 6
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5

    Tolstoy based Resurrection, the last of his novels, on a true story of a philanderer whose misuse of a beautiful young orphan girl leads to her ruin....

    Regular price: £23.49

    • Anna Karenina [Russian Edition]

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: Vyacheslav Gerasimov
    • Length: 41 hrs
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11

    A beautiful society wife from St. Petersburg, determined to live life on her own terms, sacrifices everything to follow her conviction that love is stronger than duty....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Very thoughtful piece of work

    • By Anastasija Sostaka on 10-08-15

    Regular price: £12.89

    • Anna Karenina

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: Kate Petrie
    • Length: 32 hrs and 56 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 2

    Anna Karenina is widely considered to be one of Leo Tolstoy’s best works. Essentially a tragic love story, Anna Karenina tells the story of the rebellious and beautiful Anna and her passionate affair with Count Vronsky....

    Regular price: £27.49

    • The Death of Ivan Ilyich

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: Oliver Ford Davies
    • Length: 2 hrs and 51 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 31
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 21
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 21

    The subject of this Tolstoy novella is a high court judge in St. Petersburg. One day, without warning, he is beset by pains and soon has to come to terms with the fact that he is going to die....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • The best 'Death'

    • By Francis on 16-02-10

    Regular price: £9.19

    • The Kreutzer Sonata

    • By: Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
    • Length: 3 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 4
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 4

    One of the world’s greatest novelists, Leo Tolstoy was also the author of a number of superb short stories, one of his best known being “The Kreutzer Sonata.” This macabre story involves the murder of a wife by her husband....

    Regular price: £10.49

Are you an author?

Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography.