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Dimensions:
200 × 130 mm
224 pages
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9781789141993
Illustrations:
40 illustrations
Published:
10 Feb 2020
Series:
Critical Lives
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Leo Tolstoy Andrei Zorin

When he arrived in Moscow in 1851, a young Leo Tolstoy set himself three immediate aims: to gamble, to marry and to obtain a post. He managed only the first. The writer’s momentous life would be full of forced breaks, abrupt departures and profound contradictions, from the death of his beloved parents and tortuous courtships to a deep spiritual crisis and an abandonment of the social class into which he had been born. He also made several attempts to break up with literature, but each time he returned to writing.

In this original and comprehensive biography, Andrei Zorin skilfully pieces together the life of one of the greatest novelists of all time. He offers both an innovative account of Tolstoy’s deepest feelings, emotions and motives, as reflected in his personal diaries and letters, and a brilliant interpretation of his major works, including the celebrated novels on contemporary Russian society, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and his significant philosophical writings.

‘I know of no other biography of Tolstoy as succinct, as objective, as readable or as thought-provoking as Andrei Zorin's.’ — Donald Rayfield, Emeritus Professor of Russian and Georgian, Queen Mary, University of London


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Andrei Zorin is Professor and Chair of Russian at the University of Oxford, UK. He is the author and co-author of many books on Russian literature and culture including On The Periphery of Europe 1762-1825: The Self-Invention of the Russian Elite (2018).

Abbreviations

1 An Ambitious Orphan
2 A Married Genius
3 A Lonely Leader
4 A Fugitive Celebrity

References
Select Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Photo Acknowledgements