Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

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Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

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Excerpt

Count TolstoÏ is unquestionably one of the most interesting personalities of the period. Anything, therefore, which can add to our knowledge of him as a man, cannot fail to be welcome to those who have already made his acquaintance through his writings on religion, and through those characters in his novels which reflect himself. These Memoirs, which in the Russian bear no common title, are of particular interest, since they show that many of the author's ideas of thirty years ago were precisely similar to those which he is putting in practice to-day in his own person. There are also points which every one will recognize as having been true of himself at the ages herein dealt with. It is to be regretted that the original plan has not been carried out. This comprised a great novel, founded on the reminiscences and traditions of his family. The first instalment, Childhood, was written while he was in the Caucasus, and published in 1852 in the Contemporary (Sovremennik). The last, Youth, was written after the conclusion of the Crimean War, in 1855, Boyhood having preceded it. Childhood " was one of the first things he wrote; his "Cossacks," which Turgeneff admired extremely, having been written about the same time, though it was not printed until long afterward. The most important of his other writings are already before the public.

That the Memoirs reflect the man, and his mental and moral youth, there can be no doubt, and the characters depicted are founded upon real persons, as, for instance, Karl Ivanitch, whose grave is not far from Yasnaya Polyana; but they do not strictly conform to facts in other respects, and therefore merit the titles which he gave them, "Novels."

the translation . . .

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