Edward A. Steiner (1866–1956) was a devotee and student of Leo Tolstoy. As part of a group of young men inspired by the work of Tolstoy, Steiner made the first of several pilgrimages to Tolstoy’s home. His last pilgrimage was undertaken in 1903, when Steiner went to Russia shortly before Tolstoy’s death with the express purpose of writing this work. Part homage to an ailing mentor, part analytical biography of a legendary literary figure, Tolstoy the Man brings the reader into the inner sanctum of Tolstoy’s life and work. As a professor of applied Christianity, Steiner strove to present the significance of Tolstoy’s unique religious and philosophical beliefs and their effects on his work and Steiner’s life. Tolstoy the Man also provides a modern audience with an intimate and interesting view of prerevolutionary Russia from within. Tolstoy’s religious and social views often put him at odds with his society and were often prescient of the coming political upheaval. A. N. Wilson provides a foreword for this Bison Books edition.
A. N. Wilson is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of many works, including most recently London: A History and The Victorians. He is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books and literary critic for the London Evening Standard.