Tolstoy's False Disciple

Tolstoy's False Disciple

by Alexandra Popoff

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On the snowy morning of February 8, 1897, the Petersburg secret police were following Tolstoy's every move, and he was always in the company of a man named Certkov. At sixty-nine, Russia's most celebrated writer was being treated like a major criminal, and had abandoned his literary pursuits and become a spiritual mystic, angering the Orthodox church and earning both the admination and ire of his countrymen. Tolstoy was recognizable enough, with his peasant garb and beard, but who was the man who towered over Tolstoy, twenty years younger, with a cold, impenetrable look on his face?This man, Chertkov, was a relative to the Tsars and nephew to the chief of the secret police and represented the very things Tolstoy had renounced—class privilege, unlimited power, and wealth—and yet Chertkov fascinated and attracted Tolstoy. He would become the writer's closest confidant, reading even his diary, and at the end of Tolstoy's life, Chertkov had him in his complete control, preventing him from even seeing his own wife on his deathbed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605987279
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 11/15/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Alexandra Popoff is the author of the award-winning biography Sophia Tolstoy: A Biography. She has written for Russian national newspapers and magazines in Moscow and, as an Alfred Friendly Press Fellow, published articles in The Philadelphia Inquirer and its Sunday magazine. She has also contributed to The Huffington Post and The Boston Globe. Popoff lives in Canada where she obtained post-graduate degrees in Russian and English literature.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

A Note on Russian Names xi

Prologue xv

Chapter 1 Born to Privilege 1

Chapter 2 Unlikely Friends 22

Chapter 3 A Laborer for God 43

Chapter 4 Happy and Unhappy Families 66

Chapter 5 Evil Genius 87

Chapter 6 Tolstoy Under Surveillance 114

Chapter 7 The Tsar of the Tolstoyans 131

Chapter 8 "A Graven Image" 156

Chapter 9 Beyond the Grave 178

Chapter 10 The Greatest Literary Scandal 202

Chapter 11 Chertkov vs. Tolstoy's Youngest Daughter 234

Chapter 12 Working for the Soviets 245

Abbreviations 271

A Note About My Sources 273

Endnotes 275

Index 299

About the Author 309

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