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The fate and fortune of Leo Tolstoy’s offsprings
Leo Tolstoy with his wife and kids
For a great while Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy used to praise family happiness, as well as love between husband and wife in his books. The writer believed that a family was the core social unit. It should be the top priority followed by church and the state. Surprisingly enough, the literary genius’s happiness in his family life did not last long. Upon completion of its initial stage, the marriage with Sophia Andreevna shifted to endless quarrels and mutual resentments, which lasted for decades. Nevertheless, they had 13 children; 8 of them lived to see adulthood and left their mark in history. It is the children of Leo Nikolaevich that we want to tell about.
Sergei Lvovich Tolstoy was born in 1863.
His father was rather pleased that the boy resembled his uncle, Nikolai Nikolaevich, the writer’s elder brother. In his childhood he manifested keen wit while learning from home teachers. Then the young man studied in the Tula gymnasium and graduated from the Moscow University as a candidate of sciences.
Music was the passion of Sergey Lvovich. He mastered the piano and became a well-known folklore composer. He was a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. The musician’s area of interests included Russian, European and Indian folklore. In the last years of his life, Tolstoy wrote memoirs about his father. He died in Moscow at the age of 84.
Tatiana Lvovna Sukhotina nee Tolstaya was born in 1864.
Leo Tolstoy wrote about special congeniality with Tatiana and about her ability to create cheerful and friendly atmosphere around herself.
Tatiana studied in the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Later on she painted around 30 graphic portraits of her father. Having inherited his writer's talent, she published her own diary, which had been kept since the age of 14, as well as some essays and memoirs. She was the guardian of the Leo Tolstoy Memorial House. Tatiana Lvovna died in Rome at the age of 85.
Ilya Lvovich Tolstoy was born in 1866.
In his childhood Ilya gave a lot of troubles to his parents, diligently violating prohibitions and not showing any talent in sciences. However, it was him who Leo Tolstoy considered the most gifted in literature. Having failed to finish the gymnasium, he did military service. Then he worked as a government official, an estates liquidation agent, and a bank clerk. Later he became a journalist and founded a newspaper; however the wide recognition was won only after he had immigrated to America. His written works were published in various editions there, but the main income was earned through lecturing on his father’s work.
Ilya Lvovich died of cancer in America at the age of 67.
Lev Lvovich Tolstoy was born in 1869.
Lev Lvovich was close to his mother and often was at odds with his father. Lack of craving for sciences was compensated by musical sense and talent for writing. After the revolution, Tolstoy immigrated to Sweden, where he married and got 12 children. Lev Lvovich died in Sweden in 1945.
Maria Lvovna Obolenskaya nee Tolstaya was born in 1871.
She was a frail child. However Leo Tolstoy treated her with the utmost tenderness. That was the reason she always helped her father. She took part in education activities and invested her health and strength to help those in need.
Maria Lvovna died of pneumonia in Yasnaya Polyana at the age of 35.
Andrei Lvovich Tolstoy was born in 1877.
Little did Leo Nokolaevich participate in raising younger children, who were born after Peter, Nikolai and Varvara had died. It was not as if did not love them, just disciplined them much less. Andrew was his mother’s favorite. However he disappointed his father a lot with rather free way of life and passion for wine and women. Andrei Lvovich did not show any special talents. He took part in the Russo-Japanese war, was wounded and honored with the St George's Cross for valor. Later on, he held the office of high-ranking official.
Andrei Lvovich died of sepsis in Petrograd at the age of 39.
Mikhail Lvovich Tolstoy was born in 1879.
Musical talent and desire to compose music were not translated into reality in his further life. Mikhail chose a path of the military officer and fought in the First World War. In 1920 he emigrated. His last years he spent in Morocco. There Mikhail Lvovich wrote Mitya Tiverin, the memoirs about life in Yasnaya Polyana and his only work. He was married. Nine children were born in his family.
Michael Lvovich died in Morocco at the age of 65.
Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya was born in 1884.
She was the writer’s youngest daughter and at the age of 16 performed duties of her father’s personal assistant. Many people noted her talent and serious attitude to life. She was a sister of mercy during the First World War, and then became the head of the military medical unit.
In 1920, she was arrested and sentenced to three years in jail. Having been released beforehand, she returned to Yasnaya Polyana, where in 1924 she became the museum's keeper and was engaged in education activities at the same time. She immigrated to America in 1929. She actively lectured, wrote memoirs about her father, established and headed the Tolstoy Foundation. She helped Russian emigrants to settle down in the USA.
Due to her anti-Soviet statements, it was forbidden to mention her name even during museum tours; photographs and newsreels picturing her were removed from the expositions.
Alexandra Lvovna died in the US at the age of 95.
Ilya, Lev, Tatiana, Sergey
The children of Leo Nikolayevich were scattered all over the world, but they never forgot their roots and spoke about their great father at every turn. Nowadays there are several hundreds of the writer‘s direct descendants. Every 2 years they come together to Yasnaya Polyana, the Tolstoy’s homeland.
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