Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 in the Tula province. He studied at the University of Kazan, then led a life of pleasure until 1851 when he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus. He established his reputation as a writer with The Sebastopol Sketches (1855-6). After a period in St Petersburg and abroad, he married, had thirteen children, managed his vast estates in the Volga Steppes and wrote War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). A Confession (1879-82) marked a spiritual crisis in his life, and in 1901 he was excommuincated by the Russian Holy Synod. He died in 1910, in the course of a dramatic flight from home, at the railway station of Astapovo.
"The English-speaking world is indebted to these two translators." --Orlando Figes, The New York Review of Books "Excellent. . . . The duo has managed to convey the rather simple elegance of Tolstoy's prose." --The New Criterion "Pevear and Volokhonsky's new version is . . . flexible individuated, immediate." --The Nation "Well translated. As a lover of Tolstoy's work, one couldn't ask for more, and I can't recommend it highly enough." --Andr Alexis, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)