Cherchez la femme

In the late 1880s – early 1890s Tolstoy was very busy with works of art and articles on sexual love. In this time period he wrote “The Kreutzer Sonata”, “Afterword”, articles “On the relations between the sexes” and the beginning of “Father Sergius”. At the same time, Tolstoy extensively wrote about this theme in his letters to different persons, mostly to V. G. Chertkov. He wrote a […]

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Leo Tolstoy personal diary

In his diary Leo defines his numerous weaknesses. Going through the records, he summarizes his past and values it ruthlessly and critically. “Let us see what is my personality. I am ugly awkward, uncleanly, and, in the worldly sense, uneducated; I am irritable, a bore to others, rude, intolerant, and as bashful as a child. I am almost completely ignorant. What I do know I have learned anyhow, […]

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Tolstoy family coat of arms

The illustrious antecedents of the Tolstoy name are memorialized by the attributes of the family’s coat of arms: the center of the shield features a square frame with crossed saber and stirrups passing through the ring of a golden key. In the square on the lower right, we see seven towers with upturned crescents, representing Constantinople’s seven-towered Yedikule Fortress, thus making reference to the diplomatic service of […]

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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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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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