Sophia Andreevna Tolstoy

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About Sophia Andreevna Tolstoy

On 23 September 1862, Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Bers, the daughter of a court physician, who was 16 years his junior. (Sonya, the Russian diminutive of Sofya, is the name that was used by her family and friends) They had thirteen children, five of whom died during childhood. The marriage was marked from the outset by sexual passion and emotional insensitivity when Tolstoy, on the eve of their marriage, gave her his diaries detailing his extensive sexual past and the fact that one of the serfs on his estate had borne him a son. Even so, their early married life was ostensibly happy and allowed Tolstoy much freedom to compose the literary masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina with Sonya acting as his secretary, proof-reader and financial manager. However, their later life together has been described by A. N. Wilson as one of the unhappiest in literary history. His relationship with his wife deteriorated as his beliefs became increasingly radical and he sought to reject his inherited and earned wealth, including the renunciation of the copyrights on his earlier works.

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Sophia Andreevna Tolstoy's Timeline

1844
August 22, 1844
1862
September 23, 1862
Age 18
Russia
1863
June 28, 1863
Age 18
Youla gub., Russia
1864
October 4, 1864
Age 20
Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
1866
May 22, 1866
Age 21
Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
1869
May 20, 1869
Age 24
Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
1871
February 12, 1871
Age 26
Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
1872
June 13, 1872
Age 27
Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
1874
April 22, 1874
Age 29
Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
1875
November 1875
Age 31
Yasnaya Polyana, Russia