Leo Tolstoy Biography

Leo Tolstoy Biography

Leo Tolstoy is considered one of the greatest novelists of all time. He told sweeping stories of Russian history in War and Peace and focused on the confinements of society in Anna Karenina. Because of these novels, Tolstoy is praised for his realistic portrayal of life, a style that forged a new direction in storytelling. A compassionate egalitarian throughout his life, Tolstoy told stories through the perspectives of the people around him rather than writing through his own privileged experience. He even told one story, “Kholstormer,” through the thoughts of a horse. Toward the end of his life, he wrote The Kingdom of God Is Within You, which presented his ideas of pacifism. “If the world could write its own story,” one critic once said, “it would write like Tolstoy.”

Facts and Trivia

  • Tolstoy lost his mother when he was only two years old and his father seven years later.
  • Tolstoy was sent to law school but soon returned home. His teachers found him completely unwilling to learn.
  • Tolstoy loved to gamble and as a young man often found himself in debt due to his gambling habit.
  • Tolstoy rarely hung out with the writers of his time. He found them too liberal and too fascinated with Western (European and American) living styles.
  • Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi were inspired by Tolstoy’s philosophy of nonviolence.
Additional Content
  • Biography (History of the World: The 19th Century)
  • Biography (Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)
  • Biography (Survey of World Philosophers)
  • Biography (Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)
  • Biography (Survey of Novels and Novellas)
  • Biography (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography
  • Biography

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