1. Vegetarianism. In a 1908 interview with the American magazine Good Health, Tolstoy revealed that he had become a vegetarian around 1883. In 1893, he wrote “The First Stage,” an influential work that became a handbook to the first generation of Russian vegetarians.
2. Going normcore. Eager to overcome class differences, Tolstoy abandoned the dress code of the Russian nobility. While he did not manage to launch a new trend, he did foresee fashion becoming more casual over the years. Convinced that writing was a “meaningless” endeavor, Tolstoy once said he wanted to get a “real” job and learn shoemaking.
3. Biking and fitness. In 1895, the Moscow Cyclists' Society honored the author with a truly lavish gift – a Rover bicycle. So, at age 67, he became the “face” of
4. Gadgets. The first recording of Tolstoy's voice was made in 1895 in the house of
6. Workshops. Apart from the children of his serfs, Tolstoy's educational ambitions also involved his own family. Each summer, when the Kuzminsky family, friends of the Tolstoys, came to stay in Yasnaya Polyana, members of both families spent a week writing anonymous poems, articles
Credit: Archive image
7. Targeted charity. Tolstoy did not like to give out alms. Instead, he preferred to find out the source of people's problems and deal with them directly – either by giving them the things they needed or by lending a hand with some task, be it fixing up a stove, repairing a shed or helping with the harvest.
Credit: Lightroom Photos
8. BookCrossing. By 1910 Tolstoy's personal library had 22,000 periodicals and volumes, the oldest of which was printed in 1613. The task of keeping the library in order was entrusted to Sofia Andreyevna, the author's wife. As Tolstoy rejected the idea of personal ownership, his guests were free to take any book they liked.
Credit: Archive image
9. Selfies. Just like his contemporaries, Tolstoy was swept up by the photography fad of the 1860s. He owned several cameras and in 1862 he even made what could be best described as a prototype for the selfie. Despite the fact that he liked portraits more, it was photojournalism that he considered the most promising kind of photography.
10. Downshifting.Those consciously choosing to live simpler lives have always been respected in Russia. However, the level of downshifting that the author took on his final journey was unprecedented. The “holy fool” that wanders the countryside has always been a fixture in Russian literature, but Tolstoy took things to a new level. Full version (in Russian) is available at Kommersant.
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