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The Story of a Horse
Leo Tolstoy
Translated by Louise Maude and Aylmer Maude
Revised translation and introduction by Richard F. Gustafson
Illustrated by Larry Welo

A rich, evocative tale in the voice of a horse by a master storyteller

Known worldwide for his masterpieces Anna Karenina and War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy takes a less dramatic but no less poignant approach in Strider: The Story of a Horse. Told from Strider’s own aged, equine perspective, the tale nonetheless addresses such perennial human concerns as prejudice, fortune, and mortality.

Tolstoy subtly illustrates the parallels and contrasts between horse and human, as we see through Strider’s eyes the decline of his most memorable owner—a rich, arrogant hussar officer in his youth and a depleted, decrepit figure in his dotage. Completed in Tolstoy’s own old age, Strider offers a compelling glimpse into the author’s growing obsession with mortality.

Published in 1885, the story idea first occurred to Tolstoy in 1856 and thus spans the two main periods of his writing career. Strider, of interest to general readers and students of Russian literature alike, offers considerably more than simply a story of a horse.


Author. Photo credit, Name

Leo Tolstoy, born in 1828 to a noble family some eighty miles south of Moscow, fought in the Crimean War before deciding against a military career in 1856 and turning to writing. He married Sofia Andreyevna Bers in 1862 and they had thirteen children, only eight of whom grew to adulthood. He produced his most famous works, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, between 1864 and 1876. After years of an increasingly unhappy marriage, Tolstoy left his wife and home in 1910 at the age of eighty-two and died at a local railway station. Louise Maude, born in Moscow in 1855 to an English family, was a translator of many of Leo Tolstoy’s writings. Her husband, Aylmer Maude, born in England in 1858, moved to Moscow as a teenager and met Tolstoy in 1888. Later the Maudes settled in England and continued to translate and promote the works of Tolstoy. Richard F. Gustafson, professor emeritus of Russian at Barnard College, Columbia University, is the author of Leo Tolstoy: Resident and Stranger.





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April 2015
LC: 2014936584 PG
104 pp. 6 1/2 × 8 5/8
3 etchings

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Cloth $25.00 t
ISBN 978-0-9835174-7-4
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