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The Passion of Leo Tolstoy: What tormented the genius writer all his life, and why his wife went down the aisle in tears
The Passion of Leo Tolstoy: What tormented the genius writer all his life, and why his wife went down the aisle in tears
Sophia and Leo Tolstoy

At first glance, everything is decorous in Tolstoy's family. Only wife, marriage for love. But she knew better than others about the demons who tormented her husband. Why did the bride walk down the aisle in tears and whom did she dream of killing? The answers to these questions can be found in the diaries of the spouses. Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy is a writer read by the whole world. Many of his works are autobiographical and, of course, each of them reflects the author's worldview. And Tolstoy's biography is no less interesting than his novels.

Sofya Andreevna Tolstaya (Bers) was his lover, friend, assistant and gave the count 13 children. But all my life I was tormented by jealousy. Leo Tolstoy was a passionate man. And he was fond of women from a young age. In her diaries, Sophia accused her husband of tactlessness and admitted that she was ready to kill one of the passions of her lawful spouse. But how did the young wife know about Tolstoy's love affairs before marriage? The thing is that on the eve of the wedding, he gave her his diaries. So Count Tolstoy decided to clear his conscience and, obviously, show the bride what he is. She nevertheless decided to go down the aisle, but she entered the church in tears. So what did the girl learn?

Brothers Tolstoy, Lev Nikolaevich extreme right

Not young ladies and peasant women

Leo Tolstoy kept diaries from his youth and trusted the pages for almost everything. He described life events, including intimate ones. From them it is known that older brothers introduced the future writer to physical relationships when he was 16 years old. They took them to a brothel and paid for the services of a prostitute:

- he recalled.

Tolstoy will describe this experience in his last novel "Resurrection".

Lev Tolstoy

It is worth noting that visiting houses of tolerance by noble gentlemen in the 19th century was not something out of the ordinary. Brothels were taxed, and priestesses of love underwent mandatory medical examinations twice a week. In Moscow, at the corner of Plotnikov Lane, there is an apartment building. His bas-reliefs are rather unusual, they depict scenes of love. Looking closely at the sculptures, you can see the faces of Pushkin, Tolstoy and Gogol. According to rumors, domestic classics were clients of the brothel, which was once located in this place.

Building with sculptural bas-reliefs

As for Leo Tolstoy, he experienced his first passionate attraction even before meeting "this woman." At 13, he flared up for a fat maid with a pretty face. He will write down that he refuses to recognize this feeling as his first love, especially since:

In Yasnaya Polyana. On the back the inscription: "Tolstoy pursued by a petitioner"

In the biography of the young Tolstoy there is a case of which he was ashamed all his life. One day he became friends with his aunt's maid. The girl was innocent, and he seduced her. Glasha became pregnant, and the mistress of the house kicked her out. Her family refused to accept the disgraced. The girl was on the verge of death when Tolstoy's sister took her in.

Among the victories of the passionate count were young women from subordinate villages, gypsies and maids. But a special role in the life of the writer was played by the married peasant woman Aksinya. For her, he felt tenderness, jealousy and passion, which, it seems, pursued him to the end. He even gave her name to the heroines of the works.

- the offended Sophia Andreevna wrote down in her diary.

Sophia and Leo Tolstoy

The affair with "semolina" Aksinya in Yasnaya Polyana lasted two years. The peasant woman, according to the writer, drove him crazy and deprived him of peace:

This relationship continued after Tolstoy got married. In the family estate, Aksinya served in the master's house. She came to wash the floors and caused fits of anger in Sofia Tolstoy. The jealous wife even made a note in which she admitted that she did not understand why Aksinya was so “good”, and that she even thought to kill her.

- Sophia Andreevna Tolstaya recalled.

Lev Tolstoy

Desire is a Devil's Appearance

Leo Tolstoy will describe the story of his pernicious passion in the novel "The Devil". His wife worked with all of his manuscripts. She copied out completely. But Lev Nikolaevich prudently hid the "Devil" from her in the seat of his working chair. He very frankly described the attraction of Yevgeny Irtenev to the courtyard girl Stepanida.

The plot is as follows: a young nobleman is tormented by carnal desire. He converges with a peasant woman "not for debauchery, but only for health." But she lures into sin not only his body, but also his soul. Having decided to marry a noble girl, Irtenev tries to forget his Stepanida. But circumstances again invite him to sin. Tolstoy rewrote the end of the story twice. In one of the versions, Eugene chooses a vicious life of suicide, and according to the other he kills Stepanida, and he loses everything and finds himself on the sidelines of life.

Leo Tolstoy took his stories from real life. Is it a coincidence? He describes in "The Devil" that Stepanida appeared in the master's house, lifting her skirts and bare hands, shamelessly washing the floors. And still trying to break the connection, Irtenev confesses to his wife. He hands her his diary.

Final chord

It remains only to guess how much Sofya Andreevna and Lev Tolstoy survived. Lev Nikolayevich loved his wife, but was disappointed by her coldness. She was shocked by his sophistication. At first he demanded maximum attention to himself, then he moved away. She bore him thirteen children (five died), rewrote "War and Peace" by hand several times, kept accounting and housekeeping. She loved and was jealous. Their marriage lasted nearly 50 years. The family was "unhappy in its own way."

Leo and Sophia Tolstoy

At the end of his life, Tolstoy was excommunicated, he almost ruined his family, accused his wife of persecuting and controlling him. At 82, Leo Tolstoy left home. He caught a cold and died. After his death, a letter was handed over to her:

Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Lev Nikolaevich, like many men, did not remember the date of the wedding. How else to explain that in the last letter he writes about a marriage of 35 years, while in fact the marriage lasted 48.

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