Describing Tolstoy's crisis of depression and estrangement from the world, A Confession(1879) is an autobiographical work of exceptional emotional honesty. By the time he was fifty, Tolstoy had already written the novels that would assure him of literary immortality; he had a wife, a large estate and numerous children; he was 'a happy man' and in good health - yet life had lost its meaning. In this poignant confessional fragment, he records a period of his life when he began to turn away from fiction and aesthetics, and to search instead for 'a practical religion not promising future bliss but giving bliss on earth'. His searingly honest search for spiritual fulfilment also inspires the three other works collected here: Religion and Morality(1893), What is Religionand of What Does Its Essence Consist?(1902) and The Law of Love and the Law of Violence(1908).
About The Author
Leo Tolstoy was born in central Russia in 1828. He studied Oriental languages and law (although failed to earn a degree in the latter) at the University of Kazan, and after a dissolute youth eventually joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851. He took part in the Crimean War, and the Sebastopol Sketches that emerged from it established his reputation. After living for some time in St Petersburg and abroad, he married Sophie Behrs in 1862 and they had thirteen children. The happiness this brought him gave him the creative impulse for his two greatest novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). Later in life his views became increasingly radical as he gave up his possessions to live a simple peasant life. After a quarrel with his wife he fled home secretly one night to seek refuge in a monastery. He became ill during this dramatic flight and died at the small railway station of Astapovo in 1910.
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: December 1987
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.17