Leo Tolstoy Facts

Leo Tolstoy Facts
Leo Tolstoy was a Russian novelist, essayist, playwright, and short story writer who wrote classics such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and is considered to be one the greatest novelists of all time. He was born Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy on September 9th, 1828 in Yasnaya Polyana in the Russian Empire. He was born into old Russian nobility and the fourth child (of five) to Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy and Countess Mariya Tolstaya. His parents died when he was young and he was raised by relatives. Leo studied law at Kazan University, but half way through he dropped out and returned home, and began to write. It wasn't long before he realized farming wasn't his forte and he joined the army.
Interesting Leo Tolstoy Facts:
While serving in the Army Leo used much of his free time to write. He worked on a story titled Childhood, which was an autobiography.
Leo Tolstoy's first published work was Childhood. It was accepted for publication in the most popular journal of its time The Contemporary.
Leo Tolstoy began writing The Cossacks while in the Army but didn't finish it until 1862. It was an account of lie at Caucasus, an Army outpost. He had long since left the army when he finished the work.
Leo Tolstoy fought in the Crimean War from November 1854 to August 1855.
While fighting in the Crimean War Leo Tolstoy wrote Boyhood. It was the second book in his trilogy of autobiographies.
After returning home from the war Leo discovered he was already popular on the literary scene in St. Petersburg.
Leo Tolstoy witnessed a public execution in Paris in 1857, which bothered him for the rest of his life. He also published Youth, the third book in his autobiographical trilogy, in 1857.
In 1860-61, while on a trip to Europe, Leo Tolstoy met Victor Hugo, the author of Les Miserables. Leo's political views were believed to have been shaped during this time.
Leo Tolstoy married Sofya Andreyevna Bers in 1862. She was the daughter of a doctor.
In the 1860s Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace.
In 1873 Leo Tolstoy wrote Anna Karenina. Parts of the book are believed to contain elements of Leo's courtship of Sofya. Anna Karenina was published from 1873 to 1877 in installments. Royalties helped build Tolstoy's wealth.
Because of Leo Tolstoy's unconventional ideas he was watched by Russia's secret police for a time.
Leo began giving away a lot of his money, which Sofya did not like. Leo granted her control of his copyrights and royalties.
Leo Tolstoy wrote The Death of Ivan Illich in 1886, one of his most successful and famous works.
Leo Tolstoy became established as a religious and moral leader in the last 30 years of his life. Mahatma Gandhi is said to have been influenced by Tolstoy.
While on a pilgrimage with his youngest daughter Aleksandra on November 20th, 1910 Leo Tolstoy died. He left behind his wife Sofya and 10 children.
Leo and Sofya had 13 children but only 10 lived beyond infancy.
War and Peace is often referred to as the greatest novel ever written.

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