1828 - 1910
Russian Novelist
Count Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy ranks as one of the world's great writers. He was also an important moral thinker and reformer.

Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Educated at Kazan, he joined the army in 1851. After fighting in the Crimean War, he left the army, and travelled abroad.

After his return he settled on his Volga estate, where he wrote his epic masterpiece 'War and Peace' - the story of five families during Napoleon's invasion of Russia - which is one of the greatest novels ever written. His next novel 'Anna Karenina' is one of the great love stories of the world.

He then experienced a spiritual crisis which led to such works as
'A Confession' and 'What I Believe'. He transferred his fortune to his wife and lived poorly as a peasant under her roof. Leaving home secretly, he died of pneumonia some days later at nearby railway station.

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Biography and works