Tolstoy's War and Peace and Anna Karenina are considered two of the greatest novels ever written. Here is a fresh perspective on his extraordinary life and times
The extraordinary character of the giant is captured better by Bartlett than by any previous biographer
Superbly readable and, in contrast to some earlier biographies, treats the great novelist's sometimes strange enthusiasms and obsessions sympathetically and seriously.
Conveys Tolstoy to me more vividly than any biography I have read.
Rosamund Bartlett's new life of Tolstoy is a splendid book - immensely readable, full of fresh details, and often quite brilliant in its perceptiveness about the greatest of Russian writers, and one of the stars in the western firmament. This biography has the sweep and vividness of literature itself, and I strongly recommend it.
highly accessible and intelligent... neat and illuminating...Bartlett's biography is worth tackling for four qualities alone. The first is her insight into the many contradictions of Tolstoy's character... Its second merit is the way Bartlett places Tolstoy in the much wider cultural context... The third great strength of Bartlett's biography is the weight she gives both to his philosophical writings, and to his social activism, which is a salutary corrective to those, including his Soviet critics, who concentrate on the great novels to the exclusion of all else... The fourth distinguishing feature, and a considerable one, is Bartlett's relatively sympathetic treatment of the women in Tolstoy's life... bonus throughout is Bartlett's pleasant, unimposing style
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