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These short works, ranging from Tolstoy's earliest tales to the brilliant title story, are rich in the insights and passion that characterize all of his explorations in love, war, courage, and civilization.
Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province. He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. He is the author, among many other works, of War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877) and A Confession (1879-82).