Tolstoi, COUNT LEO NIKOLAIEVITCH, was born in 1828 in the government of Tula. After a period of student life at the university of Kazan, he served in the, army in the Caucasus, Turkey, and the Crimea during the war. His earlier books were written in the Caucasus (The Cossacks, etc.). After his retirement from the army, he visited Germany and Italy, and finally settled down on his estates, working with his own hands among his tenants, whose life he endeavours fully to share. His two greatest works are War and Peace (1865-68) and Anna Karenina (1875-78), His subsequent works are all highly didactic, and advocate that stern asceticism which Tolstoi believes to be the root principle of true Christianity. Matthew Arnold considered him one of the greatest European writers of his age.