Song Without Words, The Photograhs and Diaries of Countess Sophia Tolstoy, by Leah Bendavid-Val, is a fascinating book published by National Geographic, 2007. I loved it so much I got a copy for my little manor library, several years ago. This week, I pulled it off the shelf for a fresh browse.
Sophia was the wife of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. An extraordinary artist, in her own right, she was an innovative photographer in a day when photography was all quite new. Between 1885 and 1910, she made over a thousand photographs representing her world. Her diary is a detailed journal of her intimate reflections on life, art, politics, and her rocky marriage to a literary giant.
If you like history, art, photography or all things Russian, like I do, you will not be disappointed. The Countess takes you straight back to life in pre-revolutionary Russia, with her fascinating intimate journals and photos.
Photo below: Sophia and Lev Tolstoy, with their son Mikhail, on the porch at Yasnaya Polyana, 1898.