TOLSTOY by Alexandra Tolstoy


Email this review


This life-sized portrait of the great Russian novelist by his youngest, and most devoted, daughter is probably the most authentic record of the man- over and above the autobiographical content of much of his writing-which is also used here. A man in many ways as monumental as some of his books, prone to extremes of feeling in which heart and conscience exercised their troubled conflict, Tolstoy's life was dedicated- not only to his work, but to the search for a social and philosophic destiny which was to take him beyond the church. The aristocratic heritage which he was later to disinherit; his youth and unstable student days; army service and travel and teaching- all preface the marriage to unworldly, fearful Sonya and his devotion to her and their children which was frayed through the years of continuous quarrels. And as the years passed and brought with them his growing sense of obligation to the peasantry, there was also the knowledge of the disparity between his life and his beliefs which led to the final break with his family-all save Alexandra-in his renunciation of his wealth and his world.... An important book, more deliberately detached than her earlier The Tragedy of Tolstoy, this will have a permanent value rather than an immediate impetus.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1953
Publisher: Harper