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"Never before had such a voice sounded in Europe ... It is little to say that we were thrown into raptures by the creative genius of Tolstoy. It became part of our life, became our very own," wrote Romain Rolland, one of Tolstoy's greatest contemporaries. This book is neither a biography nor a literary portrait. It is the voice of the times in which Tolstoy lived. These reminiscences, contributed by people from widely different circles - by Tolstoy's wife and children whose contributions give us a true picture of the great writer's private life; by writers, artists and actors who were his friends; by comrades who accompanied him on the military campaigns in which he took part; by the doctors who tended him; by people who served as prototypes of characters from his novels; by teachers in his school at Yasnaya Polyana; by peasants of Yasnaya Polyana, representing that "human ocean" whose flux and flow Tolstoy followed with such rapt attention - all of them taken together present the total impression that Tolstoi made upon his generation. In a word, the pages of this book reveal to the reader the wisdom and inner conflict of the man whom Gorky has called "a one-man orchestra," "the most complicated of all great men of the 19th century."