Most of Tolstoy's influence came from first-hand experience which can be seen from
entries in his diaries. Tolstoy's ideas on education have caused controversy in many people's minds. One
can perceive also Uranian and Neptunian influences, in addition, of course, to the extension of his abilities as a writer
of long novels. Tolstoy's fiction grew originally out of his diaries, in which he tried to understand his own feelings and
actions so as to control them. He read widely fiction and philosophy. In the Caucasus he read Plato and Rousseau, Dickens
and Sterne; through the 1850s he also read and admired Goethe, Stendhal, Thackeray, and George Eliot.