Author: Maude, Aylmer
Series: Vol (1)
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Year Published: 1987
Subcategory: Biography & Autobiography / General
Condition Rating: Slight wear, may have creased spine, folded pages, good-condition ownership stickers
Summary: This magnificent biography by Tolstoy's close friend and translator, Aylmer Maude, is now available in paperback for the first time. First published in 1908-10, when it was largely contributed to by Tolstoy and revised by his wife, Countess Tolstoy, it was revised and reviewed by Tolstoy's daughter for the centenary of the author's birth in 1928. This second version includes an account of Tolstoy's last days and death and the culmination of his thoughts about life, art, and religion. It is considered by many to be the definitive life of the great Russian writer.
Count Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy (1828-1910), a nobleman and heir to large estates, was a man of tremendous energy and fine intellect. His novels, which include War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and his numerous plays and short stories pursue in fiction the ideals of truth and morality the author himself pursued in life. Though constantly discouraged and remorseful, Tolstoy never abandoned these ideals and eventually arrived at "intellectual conclusions which involved non-resistance to evil, the abolition of governments and nationality, of churches and dogmas, but involved also belief in God and love of men." The influence of Tolstoy's ideas and writings spread far beyond the borders of Russia, and he became, and remains, a literary and intellectual prophet to many in the West.
Born in Yasnaya Polyana, an ancestral estate 130 miles south of Moscow, Tolstoy was surrounded in his youth by wealth and privilege. Despite the fact that he and his brothers and sister were orphaned by the time Tolstoy was nine, there were tutors and a large extended family to care for them. Tolstoy's military career, which forced him to confront mortality and the meaning of life, began in adolescence when he volunteered for duty in the Caucasus and continued through the 1850s and the bloody Crimean War. His search for meaning led him to spiritualism and the occult and to the writing of short stories, the first of which, "Childhood," was published when he was 24. Tolstoy married and fathered 13 children, but left the daily care of both his children and his estate to his wife, as he repudiated money and property. Aylmer Maude, who spent 23 years in Russia, examines these and many other facets of Tolstoy's life with the intimacy of a close friend and the objectivity of a Westerner. His Life of Tolstoy, long considered a major biography, illuminates the development of Tolstoy's life and ideas and the great literary works that reflect them."
In Store Location: Bookcase 4 - Biographies 1,