Here’s How Leo Tolstoy’s Wife Sophia Played An Important Role In His Life

Photo:  Rex Photos

Leo Tolstoy was born on 9th August 1828 and is one of the best novelists of all time, globally. His full name was Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy and he had taken birth in a Russian aristocratic family. His versatile realist fiction achieved literary acclaim in his early twenties for his work. Tolstoy is remembered today for his two most famous works ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Anna Karenina’. But there isn’t much that we know about the writer’s personal life.

Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Behrs, who was 16 years younger to him and daughter of a court physician. They 13 children out of that 8 survived childhood.

The ‘War and Peace’ success is shared with Tolstoy’s wife, Sophia Behrs, as she wrote each version of the book by hand with so much precision – that she used a magnifying glass to translate the novelist’s scribbling on every bit of the page. Sophia wrote the manuscript of the book 8 times, apart from that managing the estate and business of Tolstoy.

Leo Tolstoy With His Grand-children | Photo:

However, it is believed that Tolstoy and Sophia had the worst marriage ever even though she assisted him so much in work and business. Leo even forced Sophia to read his diary. The more the novelist’s interest started becoming spiritual, the more he went on going away from the family. Sophia could not manage the kids and her husband’s aloofness. Her role in his life is often underrated.

Tolstoy was always on the watch of the Russian Secret Police due to his anti-government views. The Russian Aristocratic never supported the Tsarist government and always confronted it. The novelist was excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox church as he challenged the authority of the church.


There one more fact about Tolstoy’s life that is interesting. Leo Tolstoy was taken as an inspiration by Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was influenced by Tolstoy’s social beliefs, Gandhi also named a cooperative colony after the author. Author conveyed his perspective about peaceful non-resistance through a letter to Gandhi when Gandhi asked for the author’s advice.

He died on 20th November 1910 at the age of 82 due to pneumonia.

Heer Khant
Heer Khant

Traveller | Writer | Photographer | Maverick | Social Worker | Lawyer | A freedom-loving woman for whom words are like wings to her soul. She believes in aliens, hates boundaries and lives like the first human on Earth.

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