By Cathy Porter
“[A] testomony to a good spirit, a lady who lived in terrifying proximity to at least one of the best writers of all time, and who understood precisely the excessive fee she must pay for this privilege.”
—Jay Parini, writer of The final Station
Translated through Cathy Porter and with an advent by means of Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy chronicles in remarkable element the diarist’s amazing marriage to the mythical guy of letters, count number Leo Tolstoy, writer of warfare and Peace and Anna Karenina. Set opposed to the backdrop of Russia’s turbulent historical past on the flip of the twentieth century, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy bargains a desirable examine a amazing period, a classy artist, and the intense lady who stood at his aspect.
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“[A] testomony to an exceptional spirit, a girl who lived in terrifying proximity to at least one of the best writers of all time, and who understood precisely the excessive fee she must pay for this privilege. ”
—Jay Parini, writer of The final Station
Translated via Cathy Porter and with an creation through Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy chronicles in outstanding aspect the diarist’s impressive marriage to the mythical guy of letters, count number Leo Tolstoy, writer of conflict and Peace and Anna Karenina. Set opposed to the backdrop of Russia’s turbulent heritage on the flip of the twentieth century, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy bargains a desirable examine a outstanding period, a sophisticated artist, and the extreme lady who stood at his part.
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Additional info for The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy
47 As for her marriage prospects, there were no budding romances with the young swains of Natchez. She had some strikes against her, being highly intelligent with a ﬁne education, a destitute father, and some well-publicized scandals in her family. Nor did she think of herself as pretty. In December 1843, Varina Howell received an invitation from her father’s friend Joseph Davis, who lived some seventy miles north of town at the Hurricane plantation in Warren County. The year before, Davis had asked Margaret Howell to allow her daughter to visit, but the invitation had been declined because Varina was completing her studies in English and Latin.
Dissenting voices came from the printed page, for both Charles Dickens and Hannah More supported the abolitionist movement, but Varina never referred to their views on slavery. 45 She sensed some puzzling contradictions on regional identity, however, which came to the fore in national life when she was a girl. In the 1830s and 1840s, as Varina was coming to know and love her Yankee kinfolk, Northerners began to criticize slavery in particular and Southern society generally as undemocratic and backward.
The Howell children studied with their cousins, and sometimes the large clamorous tribe traveled en masse to visit their relatives across the river in Louisiana. Varina developed especially close ties to her cousin Margaret, or “Missy,” Sprague, two years her senior, who would one day name a daughter after her. Mrs. 25 Margaret Howell was not entirely consumed by her domestic duties, for she loved books, and she communicated to her eldest daughter a lasting pleasure in the written word. William Howell was known to read a book, and he counted Joseph H.