TOLSTOY, LEO, COUNT Autograph letter signed, in French, seeking an educator for his children.
[N.p.: 22 January 1878]. Two-page autograph letter on two lined sheets, written in French, signed "Comte Leon Tolstoy" and dated at end. Each sheet 8 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches; framed with a vintage gelatin silver print picture postcard depicting the author. Some soiling and marginal repair to the first leaf away from the text, the second sheet with a pinhole touching the "8" in the date.
In this early letter, Tolstoy informs the recipient, a potential language tutor for his children, of the reasons for his delay in responding to a previous letter regarding the hiring of an instructor to teach French, Latin and Greek lessons to his younger son and French and Latin to his older child. Tolstoy reports that the preparations for the lessons will be the instructor's responsibility and discusses the payment.
Leo Tolstoy fathered 13 children between 1863 and 1888, only eight of whom survived childhood, and at the time of this letter there are five children of school age that he could be referring to. A committed educator himself, Tolstoy founded 13 schools for the children of Russia's peasants, who were emancipated from serfdom in 1861. This is one of the earliest Tolstoy letters we trace at auction.
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