With “Anna Karenina” and “War and Peace”, Leo Tolstoy made his mark on the history of literature, and his own life story was just as as dramatic as his works. Though it is more than 100 years since the Russian writer died, sick and unhappy at a railway station, his works continues to be widely read.


Leo Tolstoy, or Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy which was his full name, was born into the Russian aristocracy, his father was a Count and had fought against Napoleon’s troops in 1812. Tolstoy tasted sorrow, loss and grief early in his life as his mother passed when he was just two and his father seven years after.

In this article we’ve decided to honour Tolstoy by sharing some of the most insightful and poetic things he had to say about love:

He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.
Leo Tolstoy

He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.
Leo Tolstoy

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
Leo Tolstoy

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.
Leo Tolstoy

Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.
Leo Tolstoy

One can live magnificently in this world if one knows how to work and how to love.
Leo Tolstoy

Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed.
Leo Tolstoy

I think… if it is true that
there are as many minds as there
are heads, then there are as many
kinds of love as there are hearts.
Leo Tolstoy

And all people live, Not by reason of any care they have for themselves, But by the love for them that is in other people.
Leo Tolstoy

The whole world is divided for me into two parts: one is she, and there is all happiness, hope, light; the other is where she is not, and there is dejection and darkness…
Leo Tolstoy

To love one’s neighbors, to love one’s enemies, to love everything, to love God in all his manifestations, human love serves to love those dear to us but to love one’s enemies we need divine love.
Leo Tolstoy

Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
Leo Tolstoy

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