Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Behrs, who was 16 years his junior on September 23, 1862. Her family and friends called her Sonya which is the Russian diminutive of Sofia. Tolstoy and Sophia had thirteen children, five of whom did not survive childhood. On the eve of their marriage, Tolstoy gave her his diaries which had details about his extensive sexual past and the secret son whom one of the serfs had borne him. Despite this, they enjoyed a happy start to the marriage. She was supportive of Tolstoy as she acted as his secretary, editor, and financial manager for his works: War and Peace and Anna Karenina. She was copying and handwriting his epic works time after time. Unlike the first years of their marriage, their later life together was unhappy. As Tolstoy's beliefs became more radical, his relationship with his wife deteriorated. These radical beliefs made him seek to reject his inherited and earned wealth and renounce the copyrights on his earlier works. The aftermath of the 1905 Russian Revolution and subsequent establishment of the Soviet Union made some of the members of the Tolstoy family leave Russia. This is why a number of Tolstoy's relatives can be found in Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the United States.
'The greatest love story I've ever read' Andrew Davies
Leo Tolstoy was born in central Russia on 9 September 1828. In 1852 he published his first work, the autobiographical Childhood. He served in the army during the Crimean War and his Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6) are based on his experiences. His two most popular masterpieces are War and Peace (1864-69) and Anna Karenina (1875-8). He died in 20 November 1910