Author(s): Rosamund Bartlett
Tolstoy's "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" are considered two of the greatest novels ever written. Here is a fresh perspective on his extraordinary life and times. In November 1910, Count Lev Tolstoy died at a remote Russian railway station attended by the world's media. He was eighty-two years old and had lived a remarkable and long life during one of the most turbulent periods of Russian history. Born into a privileged aristocratic family, he seemed set to join the ranks of degenerate Russian noblemen, but fighting in the Crimean war alongside rank and file soldiers opened his eyes to Russia's social problems and he threw himself into teaching the peasantry to read and write. After his marriage he wrote "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina", both regarded as two of the greatest novels in world literature. Rosamund Bartlett's exceptional biography of this brilliant, maddening and contrary man draws on key Russian sources, including the many fascinating new materials which have been published about Tolstoy and his legacy since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
'The extraordinary character of the giant is captured better by Bartlett than by any previous biographer... She is very good at expounding the novels and completely fair to all parties when the marriage turns into a battleground. Superbly well written' (A N Wilson, Spectator)"
Rosamund Bartlett's books include her acclaimed Chekhov: Scenes From a Life (2004) and her forthcoming new translation of Anna Karenina for Oxford World's Classics.