Leo Tolstoy Biography

Leo Tolstoy Biography

Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910) – Famous Russian Author and Philosopher

Birth Details

Leo Tolstoy born on September 9, 1828 was a Russian author, essayist and philosopher best known for his epic work War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1878).These works represent, in their scope, breadth and vivid depiction of 19th-century Russian life and attitudes.

Born: September 9, 1828, Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
Died: November 20, 1910, Lev Tolstoy, Russia
Spouse: Sophia Tolstaya (m. 1862–1910)
Movies: Anna Karenina, War and Peace, The Kreutzer Sonata, More
Plays: The Power of Darkness, The Living Corpse, The Fruits of Enlightenment

Personal Biography

Tolstoy's as a talented, dramatist, essayist and educational reformer was one of the most influential members of the aristocratic Tolstoy family. Tolstoy become a fervent Christian anarchist afterwards due to his truthful interpretation of the moral teachings of Jesus, middling on the Sermon on the Mount. His thoughts on nonviolent resistance were to have a deep & thoughtful impact on key 21st century figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and furthermore, Martin Luther King, Jr., which were preeminently expressed in his workings like The Kingdom of God Is Within You.

Born in Yasnaya Polyana, the family estate in the Tula region of Russia, Leo Tolstoy belonged to a well-known family of Old Russian nobility. His father was Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy who was a veteran of 1812 French invasion of Russia, and mother was Countess Mariya Tolstaya (Volkonskaya). When he was very young, his parents passed away. Leo Tolstoy and his four siblings were brought up by family relatives. In 1844, he started studying law and oriental languages at Kazan University, but never finished.

Career

Consequently, his experience and understanding in the army as well as the 2 trips he did around Europe in 1857 and 1860- 1861, resulted in his conversion from a dissolute and honored society author to the peaceful and religious anarchist of his concluding days.
 During his 1857 visit, Leo Tolstoy experienced a traumatic event; he witnessed a public execution in Paris, which changed him for the rest of his life. In a letter to his friend V. P. Botkin Tolstoy wrote "The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens ... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere."

Achievements

Some of his much appreciated work also includes novels such as, Childhood (1852), Boyhood (1854), Youth (1856), Family Happiness (1859), The Cossacks (1863), The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), The Kreutzer Sonata (1889), Resurrection (1899) The Forged Coupon (1911), Hadji Murat (1912). Plays like: The Power of Darkness (1886), The Fruits of Enlightenment (1891), The Living Corpse (1900) and Non-fiction which includes: A Confession (1882), What I Believe (1884), What Is to Be Done? (1886), The Kingdom of God is Within You (1894), The Gospel in Brief (1896), etc

In 2009 a film about Leo Tolstoy's final year, The Last Station, based on the novel by Jay Parini, was made by director Michael Hoffman.  Christopher Plummer played Tolstoy and was nominated for Oscars for the same. There have been several additional films about the author such as Departure of a Grand Old Man, made in the year 1912 just 2 years after his demise, How Fresh the Roses Were (in the year 1913), How Fine, and Leo Tolstoy in 1984, directed by and starring Sergei Gerasimov.
Leo Tolstoy died of pneumonia in 1910 at the age of 82 at Astapovo train station.

Quotes

“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.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“All governments are in equal measure good and evil. The best ideal is anarchy.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Boredom: the desire for desires”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Don't seek God in temples. He is close to you. He is within you. Only you should surrender to Him and you will rise above happiness and unhappiness.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them”
- Leo Tolstoy

“He sends a cross, but He also sends the strength to bear it.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“History would be an excellent thing if only it were true.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“I have discovered nothing new, I have only perceived what I already knew.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“If it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“If one loves, one loves the whole person as he or she is, and not as one might wish them to be.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“If you want to be happy, be.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“It is by those who have suffered that the world has been advanced”
- Leo Tolstoy

“It is not beauty that endears, it's love that makes us see beauty”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Let us forgive each other - only then will we live in peace”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Man discovers truth by reason only, not by faith.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Music is the shorthand of emotion.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“The earth is the general and equal possession of all humanity and therefore cannot be the property of individuals”
- Leo Tolstoy

“The only thing that we know is that we know nothing and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves.”
- Leo Tolstoy

“Woman, you see, is an object of such a kind that study it as much as you will, it is always quite new.”
- Leo Tolstoy


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