Leo Tolstoy

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

– Leo Tolstoy

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born in Yasnaya Polyana, Tula, Russian Federation,  September 09, 1828

died: November 20, 1910
gender: male
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; commonly Leo Tolstoy in Anglophone countries) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction. Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world’s greatest novelists. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.

His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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12 thoughts on “Leo Tolstoy

  1. September 9, 1828: In his youth Russian author Leo Tolstoy was a poor student and an avid gambler but in later years he became a devout pacifist and anarchist. He was born 185 years ago today.

  2. I suppose. Now isn’t that beard something?

  3. True, so well said.

    • Thanks Amy, you might like this one, too:
      “If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
      ― Leo Tolstoy, Essays, Letters and Miscellanies

  4. it’s a beautiful wall paper but i can’t read the text, darn.

  5. Bright Orange? Wow, I can read it perfectly. 😆 I have been look for his book about The Sermon on the Mount, can’t find it. War and Peace is an epic story. Thank you, for catering to my whims. 😆

  6. Fine quote. I didn’t know about Tolstoy’s later Christian anarchism or his influence on Gandhi and King.

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