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These are memoirs of the giant figure of Leon Tolstoy written by his eldest son, apparently in his old age and found in Moscow after his death in 1947. Although there have been close to twenty biographies of Tolstoy, perhaps most notably those by Cynthia Asquith, David Garnett and Romain Rolland, no definitive biography of that complex genius has appeared in English, and these reminiscences provide valuable source material. While Sergei was devoted to his father, he was not dominated by him, nor did he espouse the Utopian ideas which the elder Tolstoy adopted after his ""crisis"" in 1881, when he turned against the aristocracy, the church, and the aesthetic life, and attempted to live like the Russian peasant, gave up Moscow, and worked out his own individual philosophy and personal religion. Sergei's pictures of rugged life on the ""farm"" in the Caucasus- which his delicate and more worldly mother hated, of the tumultuous life on the estate at Jassnaia Poliana, of Tolstoy's friends, particularly Turgenev, of the circumstances of Tolstoy's death, constitute valuable, realistic material for anyone interested in the great Russian writer. While scattered in form, these notes help to complete the portrait of the passionate, complex, solitary figure.

Publisher: Atheneum