The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy

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9780061997419: The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy

When Sofia Behrs married Count Leo Tolstoy, the author of War and Peace, husband and wife regularly exchanged diaries covering the years from 1862 to 1910. Sofia s life was not an easy one: she idealized her husband, but was tormented by him; even her many children were not an unmitigated blessing. In the background of her life was one of the most turbulent periods of Russian history: the transition from old feudal Russia to the 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 the diaries are most valuable and moving. They are a testament to 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. From the state of the great writer s stomach and the progress of his work, to the fierce and painful arguments that would eventually divide the couple for ever, Sofia s Diaries are both compelling and extraordinarily revealing. "This is a book which is interesting for what it says about the predicament of women in the past, and how that compares to their present circumstances. While reading it, I was so enthralled that I found myself dreaming about Sofia, about speaking to her myself, desperately wanting to reach out to her and offer her words of comfort for her pain." From the foreword by Doris Lessing

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[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 StationTranslated 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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When Sofia Behrs married Count Leo Tolstoy, the author of "War and Peace", husband and wife regularly exchanged diaries covering the years from 1862 to 1910. Sofia's life was not an easy one: she idealized her husband, but was tormented by him. Even her many children were not an unmitigated blessing.

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