Leo Tolstoy and Crimean war (October 1853 – February 1856)

Having joined the army as a junker (cadet), he later passed the exam to become an officer of the most junior rank. When the Crimean War began, Tolstoy transferred from the Caucasus to the Dunay Army, which was fighting against the Turks, and then to Sevastopol, to which the combined forces of England, France and Turkey had laid siege. In Sevastopol, he commanded a battery at the […]

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The Volkonskys Dukes’ Coat of Arms. On the mother’s side, Tolstoy belonged to the Bolkonskys family who were related to such dukes as Trubetskys, Golitsins, Odoevskys, Lykovs( i am sure all this names sounds familiar for “War and Peace” readers) and others. Tolstoy was also related to Alexander Pushkin  on the mother’s side.  

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Food and Fiction (Anna Karenina)

  Levin and Oblonsky having a dinner.  “If you prefer it, your excellency , a private room will be free directly; Prince Golistin with a lady. Fresh oysters have come in.” “Ah! oysters.” Stepan Arkadyevitch became thoughtful. “How if we were to change our program, Levin?” he said keeping his finger on the bill of fare. And his face expressed serious hesitation. “Are the oysters good? Mind […]

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Bold decision

  On 17 September 1862 Leo Tolstoy and Sophia Bers became formally engaged after Tolstoy gave Sophia a written proposal of marriage, marrying a week later in Moscow.At the time of their marriage, Leo Tolstoy was already well known as a novelist after the publication of The Cossacks. On the eve of their marriage, Tolstoy gave Sophia his diaries detailing his sexual relations with female serfs. In Anna Karenina, 34 year-old Constantine Levin, a semi-autobiographical character […]

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There’s a Black Sheep In Every Family Fold

Count Feodor Ivanovich Tolstoy (1782–1846) was a notorious drunkard, gastronome, and duellist. It is said that he killed 11 people in duels. In 1803 he participated in the first Russian circumnavigation of the Earth. After he had his body tattooed at the Marquesas and debauched all the crew, captain Krusenstern had to maroon him on the Aleutian Islands near Kamchatka. When He returned to St Petersburg, Count Fedor was nicknamed Amerikanets (“the American”). He fought bravely in the Patriotic War of 1812 but […]

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Lifestyle

“Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature. Let life go on in it unhindered.” Leo Tolstoy “War and Peace” In 1896 Scientific American magazine reported “Count Leo Tolstoy…now learn how to ride a bicycle”On this photo he is 68 years old. Leo Tolstoy (70 years old)  skating (1898) Leo Tolstoy (80 years old) playing Gorodki at Yasnaya Polyana (1909)

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Dogs or Cats? Horse of course!

Leo and his favorite horse “Delire” (Yasnaya Polyana, 1908) Here is one of his famous translations of Aesop fables from Leo Tolstoy’s   fables for children (1904) . THE HORSE AND THE GROOM A Groom stole the Horse’s oats, and sold them, but he cleaned the Horse each day. Said the Horse: “If you really wish me to be in good condition, do not sell my oats.” For more […]

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