Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophie Behrs, a marriage that was to become, for him, bitterly unhappy. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. He died at the age of eighty-two on November 20, 1910. Anthony Briggs has written, translated or edited many books and articles on Russian and English literature. A leading authority on Alexander Pushkin, he has also edited five volumes of English poetry. His recent translation of War and Peace has been widely acclaimed.