Russia’s greatest writers are recognizable at first sight. They typically have an outstanding feature and some can be seen with imposing beards that you just can’t ignore.
Aside from their remarkable appearance, they were also very talented and produced some of the most popular works we see today.
Leo Tolstoy’s career and life is a model example of Russian creative genius.
Born into a royal family as Count Lyov Nikolayevich Tolstoy, his name was translated into English as Leo Tolstoy, He was a Russian writer who is seen as one of the greatest authors of all time.
Tolstoy is one of the most prominent writers and was both a philosopher – who was a vessel of life’s wisdom – as well as religious sage.
The 19th-century writer was obsessed with trying to understand what went on in the human mind.
He wrote the acclaimed novels ‘Anna Karenina’, ‘War and Peace,’ and ‘The Death of Ivan Ilyich,’ and is ranked among the world’s top writers.
Leo Tolstoy’s Career
Leo Tolstoy was born in Russia’s Tula Province on September 9th, 1828. His first novel, ‘War and Peace’ was published in 1865 and he went on to write his second book ‘Anna Karenina’ in 1873.
He wrote several fictional works throughout the 1880s and 1890s. One of his most successful novels was The Death of Ivan Ilyich.
In his early days, Tolstoy discovered that he was a pretty lousy student and started drinking, gambling and whoring (he described this as “rioting with loose women”).
Instead of going through life as a fat drunk, he decided to join the army and that was when he began writing.
He traveled extensively while in the army and experienced a lot which led him to become an Anarcho-Pacifist. His philosophy about life inspired others like MLK Jr, Gandhi, and many more.
As an artillery officer in the army, Tolstoy obeyed all official orders concerning facial hair. He had a clean haircut and a clean-shave as demanded by the Russian Empire.
However, as soon as he left the military, he started growing out his beard, which has become one of the top beard styles and shapes in Russian history.
Growing his beard out to a long length at that time was viewed as a symbol of rebellion against the government.
Tolstoy didn’t care! He also changed his clothes from the aristocratic apparels of a count to the plainclothes worn by peasant at that time.
This was really a shocker in an era where class distinction was important.
As his career grew, so did his opinions and philosophy about life. His most famous work is ‘War & Peace’, which is still talked about in many literary circles today.
This single novel earned him a place as one of the top five authors in literary history.
Leo Tolstoy’s Achievements
Leo Tolstoy died 100 years ago, on November 20, 1910, in Astapovo, Russia. His name is mentioned everytime people talk about Russian literature. In Russia, his philosophy — “Tolstovstvo” — still incites fierce debate.
Tolstovstvo called for nonviolence and a free interpretation of the Gospel. Because of this, the Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated Tolstoy in 1901.
The church refused any appeals to reconsider but it was highly unlikely that Tolstoy would have wanted it any other way.
His popularity at the time had grown to massive proportions and this gave him a unique opportunity to live life as he wanted and on his own terms.
In the last 30 years of Tolstoy’s life, he asserted himself as a moral and religious thinker. His opinions about nonviolent resistance to evil inspired a lot of people including Mahatma Gandhi.
Even today, his works are regarded as one of the finest achievements of literary work in all history. War and Peace is usually cited as the greatest book ever written.
In modern literary circles, Tolstoy is still universally acknowledged as possessing a narrative gift ever surpassed by any other writer.
He is also praised frequently for his ability to reveal people’s character and purpose from their actions. Here are some of his best works:
War and Peace – 1865;
The Resurrection – 1899 – exposing the injustice of the Church and judiciary;
Anna Karenina – 1873;
Boyhood – 1854;
Childhood – 1852;
Master and Man – 1895.
5 Leo Tolstoy Quotes
Music – “…is the shorthand of emotion.“
Change – “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.“
Happiness – “If you want to be happy, be.“
Beauty and Goodness – He once said that people confused beauty with goodness. “… delusion that beauty is goodness.“
Understanding – “… I understand only because I love.”
Leo Tolstoy’s Beard Style
Tolstoy had a beard as long as ‘War and Peace’. This was a common garb because the book was long and so was his beard.
Tolstoy’s beard was so long that it was said that during winter it froze and his wife had to remove the icicles.
To understand his Leo Tolstoy’s beard style, you have to understand how he grew and cared for it. Although his beard was 100% real, you’d have to learn to dye your beard if you want it to look like his.
Growing His Hair
Tolstoy would have grown his hair over a period of months to get it to that length. Today, many mean will need to use the natural and organic beard balm and other top selling beard products to grow their beard.
Your beard will not grow to this length overnight as you will need complete beard grooming gear to manage the growth phase for a healthy result.
Dyeing your Beard is an Option
Tolstoy had natural gray hair and didn’t need to dye it. But what if you want a beard like this today?
Trim your beard
During the growth phase, you will need to use an electric beard trimmer to keep your beard nicely shaped. Tolstoy didn’t have this luxury.
He would have used the professional barber scissors to trim his beard – or maybe not at all. After all, he was going for a scruffy look.
Maintain your facial hair
Maintenance is easy. As you can see there is no actual structure to the beard, so there won’t be any need for regular visits to the barbershop.
Just have a durable wooden comb handy to keep it tangle free and a good beard product to keep your beard soft.
Photos from: georgios / depositphotos.com, igorgolovniov / depositphotos.com.