Leo Tolstoy biography

Leo Tolstoy

Novelist, Author

1828 – 1910

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Who was Leo Tolstoy?

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, also known as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Tolstoy was a master of realistic fiction and is widely considered one of the world's greatest novelists. He is best known for two long novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Tolstoy first achieved literary acclaim in his 20s for his Sevastopol Sketches, based on his experiences in the Crimean War, followed by the publication of a semi-autobiographical trilogy of novels, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth. His fiction output also includes two additional novels, dozens of short stories, and several famous novellas, including The Death of Ivan Ilych, Family Happiness, and Hadji Murad. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.

His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Famous Quotes:

  • Christianity, with its doctrine of humility, of forgiveness, of love, is incompatible with the state, with its haughtiness, its violence, its punishment and its wars.
  • The Brahmins say that in their books there are many predictions of times in which it will rain. But press those books as strongly as you can, you can not get out of them a drop of water. So you can not get out of all the books that contain the best precepts the smallest good deed.
  • True life is lived when tiny changes occur.
  • A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally both in mind and body as irresistibly attractive to men and women. An Englishman is self-assured as being a citizen of the best-organized state in the world and therefore, as an Englishman, always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known. The German's self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth -- science -- which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.
  • A writer is dear and necessary for us only in the measure of which he reveals to us the inner workings of his very soul.
  • The chief difference between words and deeds is that words are always intended for men for their approbation, but deeds can be done only for God.
  • The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.
  • Joy can be real only if people look on their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.
  • We lost because we told ourselves we lost.
  • Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.

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"Leo Tolstoy." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Nov. 2020. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/tolstoi>.


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Born
Sep 9, 1828
Yasnaya Polyana
Also known as
  • Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy
  • Tolstoy Leo
  • L.N. Tolstoy
  • Tolstoy
  • L. Tolstoy
  • Leo Tolstoi
  • Leo N Tolstoi
  • L. N Tolstoĭ
  • Léon Tolstoï
  • Lev Tolstoi
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Ethnicity
  • Russian
Nationality
  • Russian Empire
Profession
Education
  • Kazan Federal University
    Law
    (1844/10/03 - )
Died
Nov 20, 1910
Lev Tolstoy
Resting place
Yasnaya Polyana

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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