The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy

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9780061997419: The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy

“[A] testament to a great spirit, a woman who lived in terrifying proximity to one of the greatest writers of all time, and who understood exactly the high price she would have to pay for this privilege.”
—Jay Parini, author of The Last Station

 

Translated by Cathy Porter and with an introduction by Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy chronicles in extraordinary detail the diarist’s remarkable marriage to the legendary man of letters, Count Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Set against the backdrop of Russia’s turbulent history at the turn of the 20th century, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy offers a fascinating look at a remarkable era, a complicated artist, and the extraordinary woman who stood at his side.

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From the Back Cover:

After marrying Count Leo Tolstoy, the renowned author of Anna Karenina and War and Peace, Sofia Tolstoy kept a detailed diary until his death in 1910. Her life was not an easy one: she idealized her husband but was tormented by him. She lived against the background of one of the most turbulent periods in her country’s history, as old feudal Russia was transformed by three revolutions and three major international wars.

Yet it is as Sofia Tolstoy’s own life story—the study of one woman’s private experience—that these diaries are most valuable and moving. They reveal a woman of tremendous vital energy and poetic sensibility who, in the face of provocation and suffering, continued to strive for the higher things in life and to remain indomitable.

About the Author:

Cathy Porter has published biographies of the Russianwomen revolutionaries Alexandra Kollontai and Larissa Reisner, as well as books about women terrorists of the 1860s, Russia’s 1905 revolution, and the Battle of Moscow. She has translated more than thirty books and works for the stage, including plays by Gorky and the Czech Karel Capek. She lives in Oxford.

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