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Old 11-11-2016, 04:51 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Tolstoy, Leo: The Cossacks. v1, 11 Nov 2016

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian writer regarded as one of the greatest authors of realist fiction.

His parents died during his infancy, and he was brought up by relatives. As a young man he drank and gambled heavily, and failed at university. In 1851 he joined the army and served in the Caucasus and the Crimea, and began to write. In 1862, at age 34, he married Sofya (Sonya) Behrs, aged 18, who bore him 13 children, eight of whom survived childhood. Their early married life was happy, and she acted as his secretary, proofreader, and financial manager. In the 1870s he experienced spiritual conversion, and renounced many of his previous beliefs in favour of ascetic religious beliefs including pacifism and celibacy. His marriage deteriorated, and shortly before his death at age 82 he absconded from the family home in the depths of winter and died soon after of pneumonia.

The Cossacks was published in 1863. It tells the story of a young Russian aristocrat who is posted to the Caucasus, his interactions with a young Cossack man and his betrothed and with an older Cossack warrior, and his reactions to the Cossack culture.

The text was taken from Wikisource, but three chapters had large gaps in them. I have filled the gaps from the Project Gutenberg text or by typing in the missing material from Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy in the Harper Perennial 2004 edition. I have also included a glossary.

I have silently corrected typos, curled quotes, replaced italics and diacritics, used British English, and made changes to spelling and hyphenation using oxforddictionaries.com.
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