“Tolstoy’s False Disciple” (The Untold Story of Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Chertkov), by Alexandra Popoff, Pegasus Books, New York, London, 2014 (My review)

chertkov-by-a-popoffTo-day the Russian 62 years old Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Gennadyevich Karlov was shot dead in Ankara Art Gallery when I thought about what to write in my review about my latest reading of the book “Tolstoy’s False Disciple” (the Untold Story of Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Chertkov) by Alexandra Popoff, published in 2014, it came to my mind such a strange parallel which I mentioned in my previous comment on “Sophia Tolstoy’s Diaries” by the same author, that Leo Tolstoy’s ancestor from the Peter the Great’s times was an ambassador to Turkey too. Because of unpredictable, constantly changing relations between the two countries: Turkey and Russia, Tolstoy ambassador was jailed so many times, that upon returning home, he filed the petition to the Tzar with the request to let him retire from his position. Peter the Great did not satisfy his petition, Instead, he rewarded him with lots of estates.

Those estates which the great Russian writer Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy denied and divided among his family, staying all his life at his wife’s property Yasnaya Polyana, near Tula.chertkov-by-nesterov

For 30-years relationship with Chertkov Tolstoy who renounced his literary copyrights for Chertkov considering him as his disciple and loved him very much (homosexual love). Chertkov lived very well enjoying and profiting on Tolstoy’s fame all his life, causing trouble interfering into Tolstoy’s family. He kept his diaries in secret, creating the writer’s last will against Tolstoy’s wife Sophia Andreyevna and many other evil deeds. After Tolstoy’s funeral Bulgakov on November 8, 1910 witnessed an appalling incident (Page 232): “Chertkov, in his long overcoat, mounted chairs in Tolstoy’s study and searched the bookshelves, looking behind the books and even the family portraits. Bulgakov left the room, so disgusted with the spectacle that he failed to ask what Chertkov was looking for. Bulgakov would spend decades trying to fathom,”How such a man as Tolstoy could love such a man as Chertkov?” In 1912, Sukhotin shared his understanding with Bulgakov:” L.N. loved V.G. (Chertkov) with exceptional tenderness, partially and blindly; this love drove L.N. to become completely subordinated to Chertkiv’s will. Chertkov also loved L.N. very much, not only strongly but also tyranically; his despotism drove L.N. to make an act, which completely disagreed with his beliefs (e.g. the secret will)”.

The book is interesting to read, reveals to us the unknown facts of the big writer and philosopher, the author is very resourceful and writes very well. With my gratitude to her and those people who helped in her endeavours I would like my readers to listen to the beautiful Celtic Woman Ensemble celebrating the Christmas, their Beauty, Womanhood, and, of course, their talents. Really, dedicated to the gifted women of all generations such as Alexandra Popoff and Sophia Andreyevna Tolstaya.

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