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Classic Footage of Famous Writers – Mark Twain and Leo Tolstoy

May 16, 2014

This week I began to read a book of Russian short stories. Of course Tolstoy is in the collection. I was so intrigued, then, to see this post at Interesting Literature (a blog I follow) that includes film footage of Tolstoy! It’s remarkable footage of the two sides of his life – his aristocratic life and his interaction with the peasants. If you have time beyond the five minutes it will take to watch the footage posted by Interesting Literature, here’s a ten minute silent film about Tolstoy.

Interesting Literature

Did you know Mark Twain and Count Leo Tolstoy were captured on film? Although they’re associated with the nineteenth century, both writers lived until 1910 and would be filmed in their final years when the technology was still in its infancy. (Mark Twain, who had been born two weeks after Halley’s Comet appeared in 1835, died the day after it next made its return in 1910 – something he had predicted would happen.)

As a Friday treat, we thought we’d share these two videos of footage of these classic nineteenth-century novelists.

First, Mark Twain, in 1909, filmed by none other than Thomas Edison. The footage was filmed at Stormfield, Mark Twain’s estate in Connecticut.

Second, Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace, in 1908 when he was an old man of 80.

Disclaimer: We share these videos here on a share-alike basis, since they have been made freely available by…

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