Thursday, July 8, 2010

Did Tolstoy have epilepsy?

Leo Tolstoy has been an interest of mine since 1967. Over the years I have read extensively about his life and works. I published an article in an early number of the Tolstoy Studies Journal related to the chronology of his life and work as compiled by N. N. Gusev; and from 1995 to 2009 (when Geocities ceased to exist) I maintained on online library of digital versions of some of Tolstoy's works, most of which I digitized myself.

Having recently discovered that all 90 volumes of the Jubilee edition of the Complete Works of Tolstoy (in Russian) are now available online, I have recently returned to my research into the life and work of this great author.

A Google Books search turned up a book called God and Man According to Tolstoy by Alexander Boot which states that Tolstoy is believed to have been an epileptic. This was a surprise to me, and I have begun researching this assertion. What I have learned so far is that there is some disagreement as to this diagnosis of Tolstoy being epileptic.

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