Leo Tolstoy was born at Yasnya Polyana, in Tula Province, the fourth of five children. His parents died when he was a child, and he brought up by relatives. In 1844 Tolstoy started his studies. Dissatisfied with the standard of education, he returned in the middle of this studies back to Yasnaya Polyana, and then spent much of his time in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Tolstoy was treated for veneral disease in 1847, and for most of the rest of his life was trouble by his tendency to debauch himself on a grand scale. After contracting heavy gambling debts, Tolstoy accompanied in 1851, his elder brother to the Caucasus, and joined on artillery regiment. In the 1850s Tolstoy also began his literary career, publishing the autobiographical trilogy Childhood (1852), Boyhood (1854), and Youth (1857).
Tolstoy's teaching influenced Gandhi in India, and the kibbutz movement in Palestine, and in Russia his moral authority rivaled that of the tsar. After leaving his estate with his disciple Vladmir Chertkov on the urge to live as a wandering ascetic, Tolstoy died of pneumonia on November 7 (Nov. 20, New Style) in 1910 at a remote railway junction. His collected works, which were published in the Soviet Union in 1928-58, consists of 90 volumes.
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