Washington DC: National Geographic, (2007). First Edition. Hardcover. Quarto; pp; 239, (i), colophon; profusely illustrated with sepia toned and color photographs; beige cloth and white paper covered boards lettered in gilt, genealogical endpapers, in a dust jacket. Near fine / near fine. Item #18617
Through never-before-seen photographs and intriguing personal diaries, this beautiful book provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of Countess Sophia Tolstoy and her husband, Leo Tolstoy—one of the greatest authors of all time—set against the grand and terrifying backdrop of aristocratic Russia on the brink of its demise. Between 1885 and 1910, Countess Tolstoy made more than a thousand photographs representing her entire world—from artists to aristocrats to peasants to family, from the Crimea to Moscow to the family estate 100 kilometers to the south. She also kept detailed diaries, which sweep us into fashionable balls and local gossip...magical scenes of winter in Russia...and devastating famine in the countryside. Sophia's works deepen our understanding of the era as well as of this amazing woman, who had thirteen children, battled a troubled marriage, and, though blessed with a creative life of her own, was so devoted to her husband's career that she hand-copied his great works Anna Karenina and War and Peace many times over.