Tolstoy, Aleksey Nikolayevich

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Tolstoy, Aleksey Nikolayevich

Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy (tŏl´stoi, Rus. əlyĬksyā´ nyĬkəlī´əvĬch təlstoi´), 1883–1945, Russian writer. He was distantly related to Leo Tolstoy. Of aristocratic origin, he opposed the Bolsheviks in 1917 and emigrated to Western Europe. He returned in 1923 and accepted the Soviet regime, becoming one of its most popular writers. A master storyteller, he is best known for his vivid historical novels, including the trilogy The Road to Calvary (1921–40, tr. 1946), in which he traces the effect of the Revolution and the civil war on a group of intellectuals. His Peter I (1929–34, tr. Peter the Great, 1936) gives a broad picture of Russia during a period of Europeanization. Some of Tolstoy's short stories are translated in A Week in Turenevo (1958). Nikita's Childhood (1921) is a charming narrative based on his own youth.

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