Biography and History

Count Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist and philosopher, is considered one of the world's greatest writers. Tolstoy was born of a noble family at Yasnaya Polyana, his parents' estate near Tula in Russia.

It was while he was in the army that he wrote the first of his autobiographical trilogy Childhood (1852). Tolstoy's masterpiece writings are War and Peace (1862–1869) and Anna Karenina (1873–76). Tolstoy went through a period of puritanism and self-examination which resulted in his conversion to the doctrine of Christian love and acceptance of the principle of nonresistance to evil. He was an anarchist to the extent that he considered wrong all organizations based on the premise of force, including both the government and the church. However, because of his prestige, the government did not interfere with his activities, although the Russian Church excommunicated him in 1901. Moral questions are central to Tolstoy's later works, which include the novel The Kreutzer Sonata (1889).

Source: From the finding aid for C1241