Lev Tolstoy’s Appreciation of Charles Dickens

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Brygida Pudełko


In Lev Tolstoy’s letters, memoirs and even literary works, mentions of Charles Dickens, his works and his influence on the Russian writer are found often enough to deserve a closer look. Of the Victorian writers Tolstoy read, Dickens was the most eminent, and his appreciation of the English author was permanent and unchangeable. Even in the period of his spiritual crisis, when he rejected most of his own works, some inspired by Dickens, he did not change his positive attitude towards his favourite English writer. Tolstoy read many of Dickens’s works, both in English and in Russian. He even managed to publish in his publishing house ”Intermediary” Dickens’s Little Dorrit, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carrol, Dombey and Son and Oliver Twist. Tolstoy admired Dickens for the democratic and humanistic qualities in his writings. He valued the English writer as a great Christian writer, and yet Dickens was not a religious novelist, and like many Victorian writers, he was not a conventional Christian.



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Literary studies