The Tolstoy family is very ancient, dating back to 1351. The ancestor of Lev Nikolaevich on the paternal side, Pyotr Andreevich Tolstoy, took part in the investigation of Tsarevich Alexei during the reign of Peter the Great, and later was the head of the Secret Chancellery. He became one of the first in the Russian Empire to receive the count's title for his impeccable service.
Leo Tolstoy did not like the popularity of his outstanding works. In 1871, he wrote to Fet in a letter: "How happy I am ... that I will never write verbose nonsense like War."
He took part in the Caucasian War, the defense of Sevastopol, was awarded an order and medal for his courage.
Tolstoy's ideas of non-resistance to evil by violence, set forth in the writer's works, such as "The Kingdom of God is within you", had a strong influence on the young Mahatma Gandhi, who later led the nationalist movement of India and achieved its peaceful separation from England in 1947.
In order to be closer to the people (according to another version, to improve health), Lev Nikolayevich began to walk barefoot by his old age, that is, he did not wear shoes.
Leo Tolstoy's novel "Anna Karenina" begins with the phrase: "All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." On the basis of this aphorism, the so-called Anna Karenina principle was derived, which is used to describe systems in various sciences. For example, Jared Diamond uses it to explain why so few animals have been tamed by man - for successful taming, several factors must coincide, and the absence of one of them makes domestication impossible. Economists use Anna Karenina's principle when talking about the adaptation of systems to the external environment and their behavior during a crisis: all well-adapted systems have the same features, and all unadapted systems cannot cope with adaptation each in its own way.
The Tolstoy family had 13 children, of whom 5 died in childhood, his wife was 16 years younger.
Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy was a vegetarian. In 1910, the last year of his life, Leo Tolstoy repeatedly expressed the hope that in eighty years all people would become vegetarians and that meat-eating would be viewed with the same disgust as cannibalism.
Tolstoy wrote not only "serious" works, he is also known as the author of "Alphabet", "New Alphabet" and "Books for Reading", according to which more than one generation of children learned to read.
Leo Tolstoy was familiar with Turgenev, but the writers did not manage to become friends - after a quarrel based on convictions, they did not speak for many years, it almost came to a duel.
Leo Tolstoy called himself a Christian until the end of his days, although by decision of the Synod he was excommunicated from the Orthodox Church. This by no means prevented him from becoming seriously interested in the occult in the 70s.
Having disagreements with the church, Tolstoy created his own Christian teaching, which was called "Tolstoyism". The doctrine had many associates, one of whom was M. Bulgakov, the author of the novel "The Master and Margarita".
Tolstoy died during a trip, which he went on after breaking up with his wife at a very old age. During the move, Lev Nikolayevich fell ill with pneumonia, got off at the nearest major station (Astapovo), where he died on November 7, 1910 in the house of the station chief.