Author(s): Leo Tolstoy; Ned Halley (Introduction by)
Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Behrs, who was 16 years his junior on September 23, 1862. Her family and friends called her Sonya which is the Russian diminutive of Sofia. Tolstoy and Sophia had thirteen children, five of whom did not survive childhood. On the eve of their marriage, Tolstoy gave her his diaries which had details about his extensive sexual past and the secret son whom one of the serfs had borne him. Despite this, they enjoyed a happy start to the marriage. She was supportive of Tolstoy as she acted as his secretary, editor, and financial manager for his works: War and Peace and Anna Karenina. She was copying and handwriting his epic works time after time. Unlike the first years of their marriage, their later life together was unhappy. As Tolstoy's beliefs became more radical, his relationship with his wife deteriorated. These radical beliefs made him seek to reject his inherited and earned wealth and renounce the copyrights on his earlier works. The aftermath of the 1905 Russian Revolution and subsequent establishment of the Soviet Union made some of the members of the Tolstoy family leave Russia. This is why a number of Tolstoy's relatives can be found in Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the United States.
Tolstoy's tragic tale of love, marriage and infidelity.
Born in 1828, Count Lev (Leo) Nikolaevich Tolstoy inherited the family title aged nineteen. He left university, and after a period of the kind of dissolute aristocratic life so convincingly portrayed in his later novels, joined the army. Travels in Europe opened him to Western ideas, and he returned to his family estates to live as a benign landowner. He expressed his increasingly subversive but devout views through prolific work that culminated in the immortal novels of his middle years, War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Beloved in Russia and with a worldwide following, but feared by the Tsarist state and excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church, he died in 1910.