Did You know…
1. Leo Tolstoy was born Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy on 09th September 1828, he was born in Russia to Count Nikolai Tolstoy and Countess Mariya Tolstaya. Leo was the fourth of five children.
2. Leo went to Kazan University in 1844 to study Law and Oriental Languages, he was described by his teachers as “both unable and unwilling to learn.”
3. In 1847 after leaving University in the middle of his studies Leo returned to his parent’s estate and tried to make a go of being a farmer. Unfortunately he was away on social visits to often and failed to make it as a farmer. He did however succeed in starting a life long habit of keeping a journal.
4. It was whilst he was in the army in 1852 that Leo managed to get his first piece published. He penned an autobiographical story called Childhood. It was quickly accepted by The Contemporary the most popular journal at the time. Childhood would be later followed by Boyhood and Youth.
5. In 1862 Leo married a doctor’s daughter Sophia Andreyevna Behrs, they had thirteen children together.
6. Shortly after marrying Sophia Leo started writing War and Peace. War and Peace has over 400,000 words and has been called one of the most important works of world literature. War and Peace was followed by Leo’s second most popular novel, Anna Karenina.
7. After writing Anna Karenina Leo became depressed and convinced that christian churches were corrupt he founded a new publication, The Mediator, to spread his beliefs.
8. Because of his unconventional beliefs Leo was ousted by the Russian Orthodox Church and was watched by the secret police, he gained many disciples including Gandhi.
9. In his later years Leo managed to establish himself as a moral and religious leader with his disciples often camping round the house. He rejected his two earlier works Anna Karenina and War and Peace, also to Sophia’s horror wanted to give away all of his wealth to the Russian people.
10. On 20th November 1910 Leo died of pneumonia at Astapovo train station.