Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review - Sophia Tolstoy

I wasn't thrilled about the latest volume my book club chose.  It was a biography of Sophia Tolstoy, wife of the great Russian novelist Lev Nikolaevich ("Leo") Tolstoy.  What a horrible person he turned out to be.

The book, called Sophia Tolstoy, was in part an attempted by Alexandra Popoff to debunk all the horrible things said about Sophia by followers of Lev.  They got married when she was very young; he was 17 years her senior.  She took care of their large family over the years, being pregnant, it seemed, every other year (she was pregnant 16 times!)   Sophia didn't get much help from him raising the children.  That's not surprising.  He was a self-centered person, and she was scorned for disagreeing with him.  Sophia was basically Lev's editor and scribe, though she enjoyed hand copying entire drafts of his books (many times) including War and Peace and Anna Karenina.  After he became a "towering public figure and founded a new brand of religion," she fought to keep him published and protected the family's possessions from being given away by him.  

I just couldn't bear reading how badly Tolstoy treated his wife and stopped halfway through the book.  And I'm not one who usually puts down a book.    If you are familiar with his works, you will enjoy where the author identifies how personal events made their way into his novels.  Sophia was also a writer.  Her book Skeleton Dolls (a children's book) looked very interesting, but it's out of print.

I'd like to sell my (hardcover) book, which retails for $28.00.  I don't write in my books, so Amazon would considered it "Used - Like New."  I'm willing to sell it for $11.00 ($18.00 overseas) - that would already include the shipping/handling charges.  Just let me know; I have an Amazon and PayPal account. 

1 comment:

Anitra Cameron said...

Sounds like one I'd put down, too, dear heart. I don't like my books to make me miserable!

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