Tolstoy's Biographical Information
Born: Aug. 28 (Sept. 9, New Style), 1828,
Died: of heart failure at the railroad station of Astapovo (Ryazan province) on Nov. 7 (Nov. 20, New Style), 1910.
Leo Tolstoy was born September 9, 1828 at Yasnaya Polyana in Tula, Russia. Fourth child of Countess Mariya Tolstaya, Tolstoy was born of old Russian nobility. As such, social pressures forced him to attend university and proceed on trek to becoming an upstanding member of upper-class Russian society.
In 1844, Tolstoy ceased his studies at Kazan University. He then spent a period of about seven years bouncing between his hometown and St. Petersburg accruing an impressive gambling debt.
In 1851, Tolstoy and his brother joined the army. Sometime around then, Tolstoy began writing.
In 1857, attempting to leave Russian high-society behind, Tolstoy took the first of his two tours through Europe. This act was an attempt to escape Russian political oppression, and was also caried out by such anarchists as Kropotkin and Bakunin.
In 1861, during the second of his European tours, Tolstoy met with Proudhon, with whom he exchanged ideas. Inspired by the encounter, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to found thirteen schools that were the first attempt to implement a practical model of libertarian education.
In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Bers. The early years of the marriage marked a period of great joy during Tolstoy's life and facilitated the composition of both War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Sadly, the marriage deteriorated into one of great unhappiness in later years, as Tolstoy's ideas grew more radical and his attempts to distance himself from his wealth (both earned and inherited) became more radical.
In 1910, Tolstoy died of pneumonia at Astapovo station after abandoning his family and wealth in the middle of winter to take up the path of wandering ascetic.
Autobiography: Childhood and Boyhood
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Last days of Tolstoy
BURN! Site on Tolstoy
Tolstoi as Prophet, Lee, V. [psued.] (1909). Gospels of anarchy.