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Quiz about Countess Tolstoys Marital Life
Quiz about Countess Tolstoys Marital Life

Countess Tolstoy's Marital Life Quiz

Here are some excerpts from the diaries of Sophia Tolstoy, the wife of the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. They give an idea of what their coexistence was like and how troubled their marital life was. Please fill in the missing word.

by masfon. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Quiz #
May 03 24
# Qns
Very Easy
Avg Score
18 / 20
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 174 (20/20), alan56 (20/20), Mikeytrout44 (20/20).
14th December, 1890
"I copied Lyovochka's diaries up to the part where he wrote: "There is no such thing as , only the physical need for and the practical need for a life companion." I only wish I had that 29 years ago, then I would have married him."

25th July, 1897
"My husband is not my ; he has been my passionate lover at times, especially as he grows , but all my life I have felt with him. He doesn't go for walks with me, he to ponder in solitude over his writing. He has never taken any in my children, for he finds this and dull. To each his fate. Mine was to be the to my husband. And that is good; at least I have served a great writer who is worthy of the ."

12th June, 1898
"I was today why there were no women writers, artists or of genius. It's because all the and abilities of an energetic woman are by her family, love, her husband-and especially her . Her other abilities are not developed, they remain and atrophy. When she has finished bearing and her children her artistic needs awaken, but by then it's too late, and it's to develop anything."
Your Options
[ consumed ] [ children ] [ friend ] [ difficult ] [ composers ] [sacrifice ] [ prefers ] [ wondering ] [ auxiliary ] [ never ] [ intercourse ] [ passion ] [ impossible ] [ lonely ] [ love ] [ interest ] [ educating ] [ older ] [ read ] [embryonic ]

Click or drag the options above to the spaces in the text.

Most Recent Scores
Jul 08 2024 : Guest 174: 20/20
Jul 08 2024 : alan56: 20/20
Jun 29 2024 : Mikeytrout44: 20/20
Jun 18 2024 : LadyNym: 20/20
Jun 16 2024 : jackseleven: 18/20
Jun 13 2024 : Guest 3: 18/20
Jun 12 2024 : Retired2006: 20/20
Jun 10 2024 : rahul0: 20/20
May 20 2024 : Geoff565: 12/20

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts

Sophia Tolstoy, (née Sophia Behrs) (1844-1919), was from an aristocratic family and had a refined education. She was a Russian diarist, copyist, and writer, photographer, and was the wife of the Russian writer Count Leo Tolstoy, who was 16 years her senior. On the eve of the wedding, Tolstoy gave Sophia his diaries as a gift, in which he described details of his eventful sexual life (the same procedure used by Levin in "Anna Karenina"). After her marriage at 18, she became Countess Tolstoy.

Their marriage lasted almost half a century, from 1862 until 1910, when Leo Tolstoy died. At first, the marriage was relatively peaceful, it was the period in which Tolstoy's great works were published. Sophia was a talented person, on whom Tolstoy depended to look after the family, educate the children, and take care of the properties. She also copied his manuscripts countless times and acted as secretary, literary agent, and manager. But Sophia's life was not easy. Tolstoy was against any contraceptive procedures. Thus Sophia became pregnant 16 times and three of her pregnancies ended in miscarriages. Of the couple's 13 children, 8 of them lived to see adulthood. Sophia was forced by her husband to breastfeed their children, despite the discomfort this caused her. The author thought it was unnatural for a woman not to breastfeed a child.

From the 1870s onwards, Tolstoy experienced a period of great change in the way he viewed religion, and the way of life and adopted radical ideas. Among these ideas was that of disposing of his material assets and even his copyrights, aiming to make his work accessible to everyone. As Tolstoy turned to spiritual matters, it fell to Sophia to take care of the family business and prevent him from distributing his properties and giving up his copyrights. To Tolstoy's dissatisfaction, the copyright laws of the Russian Empire also prevented the fulfillment of his desire.

All these facts created a lot of friction in the marriage and unhappiness for those involved. Sophia's dissatisfaction and loneliness can be seen by reading her diaries, which cover almost six decades of her life, giving, among other things, an idea of what the couple's life together was like. The excerpts mentioned were taken from "The Diaries of Sophia Tolstoy" (2010), translated from Russian by Cathy Porter, with an introduction by Doris Lessing.

In addition to the diaries, Sophia left other writings, her correspondence with prominent figures, etc. She left more than 1000 photographs, representing her world surrounded by artists, family, peasants, etc. Her writings offer a female perspective on the unhappiness of marriage, quite divergent from much of the 19th-century male literature on this topic. In 1890 and 1891, when Tolstoy published "Sonata Kreutzer", generating a great reaction, in Russia and in other countries, Sophia retaliated against her husband with two novels: "Who's to Blame?" (1892-1893) and "Song Without Words'' (1895-1900), published posthumously. The first was published in 1994, in the Russian magazine "Oktiabr", and the second was published in 2010.
Source: Author masfon

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