Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910) was a Russian author and philosopher. He was born into a noble family in the country. His mother was a Countess and his father was a Lieutenant. His family often had family and friends over for extended periods of time while growing up, and they often played the piano, sang folk songs, read poetry and literature aloud, and put on plays together. Tolstoy's family moved to Moscow when he was eight so that he and his siblings could go to school. His father died the following year and his mother had died two years after he was born, so his Aunt Aline took care of him. She died in 1841, so he (thirteen at the time) and his brothers traveled to Kazan where his Aunt and Uncle Yushkof lived.

Kazan University

Tolstoy prepared himself to study at Kazan University to study language and literature. He moved out to live on his own and attend school at the age of sixteen. He considered this the time where his childhood ended and his youth began. He studied Turco-Arabic Literature, but did dropped out his second year. Tolstoy no longer lived richly and he had little success as a student. When his brother Nikolay, an officer, came to visit, Tolstoy seized the opportunity and joined the army. He lived a nomadic life defending Crosack and Caucasian villages. He was greatly influenced by his experiences and wrote his first book Childhood in 1852.

War and Peace

Tolstoy wrote War and Peace between 1865 and 1869.He writes with realistic detail and analyzes philosophically. The book talks primarily about the histories of five aristocratic families. The story concludes that there is a minimum of free choices and that everything is ruled by historical determinism.

(Sarah Collins)