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.
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
Long-listed for BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2011.
"'The extraordinary character of the giant is captured better by Bartlett than by any previous biographer' - Spectator 'Superbly readable and, in contrast to some earlier biographies, treats the great novelist's sometimes strange enthusiasms and obsessions sympathetically and seriously.' - Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury, Mail on Sunday Books of the Year 'Conveys Tolstoy to me more vividly than any biography I have read.' - Financial Times"
Rosamund Bartlett is the author of the acclaimed biography Chekhov: Scenes from a Life. An authority on Russian cultural history, she has also achieved renown as a translator of Chekhov's stories and letters. Her other books include Wagner and Russia and Shostakovich in Context. Tolstoy: A Life is her most recent work.