Leo Tolstoy

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Tolstoy is born
Leo Nicolayevich Tolstoy is born on August 28 at Yasnaya Polyana.

Leo's mother dies
In February, Leo's sister, Marya, is born. The Countess dies six months later, just before her 40th birthday. "Aunt" Toinette takes on the responsibility of rearing the children.

Nicolai inspires little Leo
Older brother Nicolai tells Leo a magical green stick is buried near a ravine in the Zakaz forest where they play. On it, he says, are carved words that can destroy all evil in the hearts of men. Leo will remember this all his life.

The Tolstoys go to Moscow
In January, the family moves to Moscow for the sake of the older boys' education. Leo's father dies
On June 21, Leo's father drops dead of apoplexy. Their father's older sister, Aline, becomes the children's legal guardian; they are also cared for by Toinette and their grandmother.

Family disruption
In May, Leo's grandmother dies, and the family splits up. Leo, now 10, returns to Yasnaya Polyana under Toinette's care, with Dmitry (11) and Marya (8).

Leo's formal education begins
Leo enters the University of Kazan to study Oriental languages. He is a poor and undisciplined student. Loss of innocence
Dragged to a brothel by his brothers, Leo loses his virginity. Afterwards, he breaks down and cries. This is the start of a complex relationship with sex that Leo will explore personally and in his work through the rest of his life.

Back to the land
Leo takes possession of his portion of the inheritance: 4,000 acres and 350 serfs at Yasnaya Polyana. He invites Aunt Toinette to live with him. Later, Leo moves to Moscow, where he begins to gamble compulsively.

Tolstoy begins to write
While an artillery cadet in the Caucasus, Leo begins work on an autobiographical novel, which will become Childhood, his first published work.

Leo anonymously sends the manuscript of Childhood to the editor of the famed St....
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