Tolstoy owes “War and Peace” to his wife’s efforts
In 1862, 34-year-old Tolstoy married 18-year-old Sophia Behrs, the daughter of a court physician, just weeks after the pair met.
That same year, Tolstoy began work on what would become “War and Peace,” completing the first draft in 1865.
By 1869, when the final draft of “War and Peace” was written,Sophia channeled her dedication by copying the 1400 pages manuscript with its frequent revisions, completely by hand.
Just by hands.
With the help of special tray that helped her to write propped up in bed, she managed to continue working with the manuscript even while she was recovering from the puerperal fever which almost killed her.
She often used a magnifying glass to decipher Tolstoy’s scribbling on every bit of space on the page, including the margins) thus every bit of the Literary genius’s work had been retained.
Over the next seven years, she rewrote the complete manuscript eight times (and some individual sections nearly 30 times) , all while giving birth to four of the couple’s 13 children and managing their estate and business affairs.
Leo Tolstoy definitely owes much of the success of “War and Peace” to his wife Sofya Andreyevna Behrs (Sophia Tolstoya).