• Birth: September 9, 1828
• Place: Tula Province, Russia
• Education: University of Kazan
• Literary: Realism
• Death: November 20, 1910
• Leo Tolstoy was a Russian novelist, moral
philosopher, and religious reformer.
• He is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all
• He studied law and oriental languages at Kazan
• His teachers described him “Both unable and
unwilling to learn.”
• He left university in the middle of his studies .
• After running up gambling debts, and dull
meaningless life he and his brother had to join army.
• He was promoted to lieutenant for his outstanding
bravery and courage.
• It was about this time that he started writing.
4. • He wrote his battlefield observations in Sevastopol
Sketches and this raised his profile as a leading
• In 1862, he married Sofia and the couple had 13
• He condemned capitalism, private property, and
the division of labor.
• Tolstoy was very much interested in childhood
education and self-improvement.
• He had a habit of keeping a diary or journal of this
thoughts, plans, and actions.
• He followed a rigorous course of self-study
throughout his life.
5. Major Works:
War and Peace
HadThe Death of Ivan Ilyich
The Kingdom of God is Within you
6. War and Peace:
• War and Peace (1869) is one of his most famous and best known
novels tha has 580 characters; some are real and historical while
others are invented.
• About love, in this novel, he says,
• “Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the
only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are
interested in here.”
» War and Peace
• A portion of the novel was first published in the Russian
Messenger in 1865, under the title "The Year 1805." By 1868, he had
released three more chapters. A year later, the novel was complete.
Both critics and the public were buzzing about the novel's historical
accounts of the Napoleonic Wars, combined with its thoughtful
development of realistic yet fictional characters. The Crimean
War took place from October 1853 to February 1856. It was a
conflict which involved Russia against an alliance of Britain, France,
the Ottoman Empire, Sardinia and the Austrian Empire.
7. AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL TRILOGY
Childhood, boyhood and youth
• Tolstoy's earliest work was the autobiographical trilogy: Childhood, Boyhood, and
Youth (1852–1856). In these novels the most of the Tolstoy’s life is revealed.
• ‘Childhood’ (1852):
• Tolstoy put all his childhood memories in his ‘Childhood’. In 1852, Tolstoy submitted
the sketch to The Contemporary, the most popular journal of the time. The story
was eagerly accepted and became Tolstoy's very first published work.
• Boyhood (1854):
• Tolstoy still managed to continue writing while at battle during the Crimean War.
During that time, he composed Boyhood (1854), a sequel to Childhood, the second
book in what was to become Tolstoy's autobiographical trilogy.
• Youth (1857):
• Once the Crimean War ended and Tolstoy left the Army, he returned to Russia.
• Declaring himself an anarchist, he made off to Paris in 1857.He publish Youth, the
third part of his autobiographical trilogy, in 1857.
8. Philosophy, Religious Conversion
• Tolstoy was adhered to two philosophies: non-violence (Ahinsa) and
• Pacifism is the belief that disputes should be settled by peaceful
means and that war and violence are unjustifiable.
• His philosophy of Non-violence had profound influence on others –
most notably Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
• Tolstoy suffered a spiritual crisis and grew depressed even after
completing his Anna Karenina.
• He struggled to uncover the meaning of life.
• Tolstoy first went to the Russian Orthodox Church, but did not find
the answers he sought there.
• He came to believe that Christian churches were corrupt.
• Hence, he developed his own beliefs. He decided to express those
beliefs by founding a new publication called The Mediator in 1883.
• He espoused unconventional and controversial beliefs in his ‘The
• Tolstoy was ousted by the Russian Orthodox Church. He was even
watched by the secret police.
9. • His religious beliefs can be seen in his short story
"Where Love Is, God Is"
• Over the last 30 years of his life, Tolstoy established
himself as a moral and religious leader. His ideas about
nonviolent resistance (Ahnisa) to evil influenced the
likes of social leader Mahatma Gandhi.
• When Tolstoy's new beliefs prompted his desire to give
away his money, his wife strongly objected.
• The disagreement put a strain on the couple's
marriage., until Tolstoy begrudgingly agreed to a
compromise: He conceded to granting his wife the
copyrights — and presumably the royalties — to all of
his writing predating 1881.
10. In what can one find the meaning
• (a) Tolstoy believes that only irrational knowledge or
faith makes it possible to live. He particularly cites
the faith of the working people.
• (b) Faith, alone, can give life meaning. To live
humanly is to believe in something beyond proof.
• (c) The faith that Tolstoy characterizes is faith in the
relation of the finite to the infinite. He states that
real faith is that which alone gives meaning and
possibility to life.
– Reflection, arts, and sciences are mere
pampering of appetites.
– The meaning given to this life is "truth.“
11. View of writer about Tolstoy:
• Dostoyevsky calls the greatest of all living
• Gustave Flaubert "What an artist and what a
• Anton Chekhov "When literature possesses a
Tolstoy, it is easy and pleasant to be a writer
• Matthew Arnold opined that "A novel by
Tolstoy is not a work of art but a piece of life.“
• Arthur Conan Doyle wrote "I am attracted by
his earnestness and by his power of detail.
• Virginia Woolf declared him "the greatest of all
Tolstoy died of Pneumonia in 1910 at the age of 82.
He died at a railway station on his way to spend his remaining years at