Alan Yentob takes an epic train ride through Tolstoys Russia examining how Russias great novelist became her great troublemaker. In this programme he reveals a difficult and troubled youth obsessed with sex and gambling who turned writer while serving as a soldier in Chechnya and the Crimea. His experiences on the frontline eventually fed into War and Peace a book now recognised as the gold standard by which all other novels are judged. They also triggered his conversion to outspoken pacifist.Alans expedition takes him to the Tatar city of Kazan where Tolstoy was a teenager the siege of Sevastopol on the Black Sea and Imperial St Petersburg as well as the idyllic Tolstoy country estate the writers cradle and grave and home throughout his passionate but brutal 48-year marriage to Sofya – a marriage that began with rape produced 13 children and ended with desertion and denial.Contributors include Tolstoys great great grandson Vladimir Tolstoy AN Wilson and author of a new Tolstoy biography Rosamund Bartlett. Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (known in the West as Leo Tolstoy September 9, 1828 — November 20, 1910) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction. Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world’s greatest novelists.Tolstoy is equally
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