WRITER

Leo Tolstoy

1828 - 1910

Photo of Leo Tolstoy

Icon of person Leo Tolstoy

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (; Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой, IPA: [ˈlʲef nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ tɐlˈstoj] ; 9 September [O.S. 28 August] 1828 – 20 November [O.S. 7 November] 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential authors of all time. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Leo Tolstoy has received more than 12,847,379 page views. His biography is available in 179 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 172 in 2019). Leo Tolstoy is the 11th most popular writer, the 4th most popular biography from Russia (up from 5th in 2019) and the 2nd most popular Russian Writer.

Leo Tolstoy is most famous for his epic novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

Memorability Metrics

  • 13M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 86.36

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 179

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 11.99

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 5.54

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Childhood
Russian language, Russian Short stories, Russian language books
War and Peace
War and Peace centers broadly on Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the best-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count, who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves behind his family to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman, who intrigues both men. As Napoleon's army invades, Tolstoy vividly follows characters from diverse backgrounds - peasants and nobility, civilians and soldiers - as they struggle with the problems unique to their era, their history, and their culture. And as the novel progresses, these characters transcend their specificity, becoming some of the most moving - and human - figures in world literature.
Anna Karénina
Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as “flawless,” Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.
Twenty-three tales
Resurrection
The Death of Ivan Ilych
Fiction, Russian language, Death
War and Peace
Classic, History, Russian Empire
War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events surrounding the French invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families. The novel begins in the year 1805 during the reign of Tsar Alexander I and leads up to the 1812 French invasion of Russia by Napoleon. The era of Catherine the Great (1762–1796), when the royal court in Paris was the centre of western European civilization,[16] is still fresh in the minds of older people. Catherine, fluent in French and wishing to reshape Russia into a great European nation, made French the language of her royal court. For the next one hundred years, it became a social requirement for members of the Russian nobility to speak French and understand French culture.[16] This historical and cultural context in the aristocracy is reflected in War and Peace. Catherine's grandson, Alexander I, came to the throne in 1801 at the age of 24. In the novel, his mother, Marya Feodorovna, is the most powerful woman in the Russian court. War and Peace tells the story of five aristocratic families — the Bezukhovs, the Bolkonskys, the Rostovs, the Kuragins and the Drubetskoys—and the entanglements of their personal lives with the history of 1805–1813, principally Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812. The Bezukhovs, while very rich, are a fragmented family as the old Count, Kirill Vladimirovich, has fathered dozens of illegitimate sons. The Bolkonskys are an old established and wealthy family based at Bald Hills. Old Prince Bolkonsky, Nikolai Andreevich, served as a general under Catherine the Great, in earlier wars. The Moscow Rostovs have many estates, but never enough cash. They are a closely knit, loving family who live for the moment regardless of their financial situation. The Kuragin family has three children, who are all of questionable character. The Drubetskoy family is of impoverished nobility, and consists of an elderly mother and her only son, Boris, whom she wishes to push up the career ladder.
Казаки (Kazaki)
Russian literature, Translations into English, Fiction
**The Cossacks** (Russian: *Казаки [Kazaki]*) is a short novel by Leo Tolstoy, published in 1863 in the popular literary magazine *The Russian Messenger*. It was originally called **Young Manhood**. Both Ivan Turgenev and the Nobel prize-winning Russian writer Ivan Bunin gave the work great praise, with Turgenev calling it his favourite work by Tolstoy. Tolstoy began work on the story in August 1853. In August 1857, after having reread the Iliad, he vowed to completely rewrite The Cossacks. In February 1862, after having lost badly at cards he finished the novel to help pay his debts. The novel was published in 1863, the same year his first child was born. Source: Wikipedia
Anna Karenina
Married people, fiction, Continental european fiction (fictional works by one author)
Voskresenīe
Continental european fiction (fictional works by one author), Fiction, general, Fiction, historical, general
<p><i>Resurrection</i>, the last full-length novel written by <a href="https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/leo-tolstoy">Leo Tolstoy</a>, was published in 1899 after ten years in the making. A humanitarian cause—the pacifist Doukhobor sect, persecuted by the Russian government, needed funds to emigrate to Canada—prompted Tolstoy to finish the novel and dedicate its ensuing revenues to alleviate their plight. Ultimately, Tolstoy’s actions were credited with helping hundreds of Doukhobors emigrate to Canada.</p> <p>The novel centers on the relationship between Nekhlúdoff, a Russian landlord, and Máslova, a prostitute whose life took a turn for the worse after Nekhlúdoff wronged her ten years prior to the novel’s events. After Nekhlúdoff happens to sit in the jury for a trial in which Máslova is accused of poisoning a merchant, Nekhlúdoff begins to understand the harm he has inflicted upon Máslova—and the harm that the Russian state and society inflicts upon the poor and marginalized—as he embarks on a quest to alleviate Máslova’s suffering.</p> <p>Nekhlúdoff’s process of spiritual awakening in <i>Resurrection</i> serves as a framing for many of the novel’s religious and political themes, such as the hypocrisy of State Christianity and the injustice of the penal system, which were also the subject of Tolstoy’s nonfiction treatise on Christian anarchism, <a href="https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/leo-tolstoy/the-kingdom-of-god-is-within-you/leo-wiener"><i>The Kingdom of God Is Within You</i></a>. The novel also explores the “single tax” economic theory propounded by the American economist <a href="https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/henry-george">Henry George</a>, which drives a major subplot in the novel concerning the management of Nekhlúdoff’s estates.</p>
Anna Karenina
Fiction, Adultery, Married women
Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as “flawless,” Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.
Boyhood
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classic Literature

Among WRITERS

Among writers, Leo Tolstoy ranks 11 out of 7,302Before him are Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, J. R. R. Tolkien, Lord Byron, Voltaire, and Hans Christian Andersen. After him are Victor Hugo, Sophocles, Franz Kafka, Miguel de Cervantes, Jules Verne, and Virgil.

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Contemporaries

Among people born in 1828, Leo Tolstoy ranks 1After him are Jules Verne, Henry Dunant, Henrik Ibsen, Saigō Takamori, Rani of Jhansi, Hippolyte Taine, Charbel Makhlouf, Randal Cremer, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Nikolay Chernyshevsky, and Ferdinand Cohn. Among people deceased in 1910, Leo Tolstoy ranks 1After him are Henry Dunant, Mark Twain, Florence Nightingale, Robert Koch, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, William James, Henri Rousseau, Edward VII, Nadar, Chulalongkorn, and O. Henry.

Others Born in 1828

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Others Deceased in 1910

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In Russia

Among people born in Russia, Leo Tolstoy ranks 4 out of 3,761Before him are Immanuel Kant (1724), Vladimir Lenin (1870), and Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821). After him are Vladimir Putin (1952), Yuri Gagarin (1934), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Dmitri Mendeleev (1834), Anton Chekhov (1860), Peter the Great (1672), Nikita Khrushchev (1894), and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840).

Among WRITERS In Russia

Among writers born in Russia, Leo Tolstoy ranks 2Before him are Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821). After him are Anton Chekhov (1860), Alexander Pushkin (1799), Ayn Rand (1905), Maxim Gorky (1868), Isaac Asimov (1920), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918), E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776), Vladimir Nabokov (1899), Boris Pasternak (1890), and Ivan Turgenev (1818).