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All About Leo Tolstoy
Biography
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        Leo Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana,on August 28, 1828. He was the fourth of five children and lived throughout his life on his family estate near Moscow.  His parents passed away when he was young and so he was raised by his relatives. He attended the University of Kazan and later continued his education through personal study.  He served in the army in the Caucasus during this time of peresonal study.  "Tolstoy was treated for venereal disease in 1847, and for most of the rest of his life was troubled by his tendency to debauch himself on a grand scale. After contracting heavy gambling debts, Tolstoy accompanied his elder brother to the Caucasus in 1851, and joined an artillery regiment."  "In 1857 Tolstoy visited France, Switzerland, and Germany to learn more about society and how to reform it. After his travels Tolstoy settled in Yasnya Polyana, where he started a school for peasant children. He believed that the secret of changing the world lay in education. He investigated educational theory and practice, and published magazines and textbooks on the subject. In 1862 he married Sonya Andreyevna Behrs (1844-1919) who bore him 13 children. Sonya also acted as her husband's devoted secretary."
     
 

      Leo Tolstoy's writing career began with his writing in a diary which he began at age 18.  It showed his interest in human behavior and manner. In turn, his first piece, "A History of Yesterday" was not difficult to write. Below is a link with available texts of Tolstoy's main works such as Anna Karenina and War and Peace.
     

During the Crimean War Tolstoy commanded a battery, witnessing the siege of Sebastopol (1854-55). In 1857 he visited France, Switzerland, and Germany. After his travels Tolstoy settled in Yasnaya Polyana, where he started a school for peasant children. He saw that the secret of changing the world lay in education. He investigated during further travels to Europe (1860-61) educational theory and practice, and published magazines and textbooks on the subject. In 1862 he married Sonya Andreyevna Behrs (1844-1919); he had 13 children with her. Sonya also acted as her husband's devoted secretary.