Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828–1910), born to an aristocratic Russian family, is remembered as one of the greatest writers of all time. Best known for realist fiction like War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), Tolstoy’s legacy is also that of a passionate and influential proponent of nonviolence and conscientious objection.

Pictured here: Tolstoy’s signature on the wrap closure

After experiencing a profound moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, Tolstoy began to closely follow a pacifist doctrine. He renounced his aristocratic lifestyle and promoted his nonviolent beliefs right up until his death in 1910 at age 82. It is said that he spent his last hours preaching love and tolerance to his fellow train passengers.

The letter reproduced on our cover is a reflection of Tolstoy’s fervent pacifism. It is his response to an unidentified conscientious objector who sought his advice after refusing military service.

Pictured here: The letter reproduced on the front cover

Through this Tolstoy, Letter of Peace cover design, we hope to honour both the literary and personal legacy of the great Leo Tolstoy.

Tolstoy, Letter of Peace available as: Ultra and mini hardcover journals (lined)

Pictured here: Tolstoy, Letter of Peace journal back cover


  1. Hello, I just bought this beautiful notebook, but I can’t actually read the letter – are you able to post a test version and English translation?

    • Hi Sarah!

      Unfortunately we don’t own the letter itself and don’t have the licensing rights to share the original image. However we have reached out to our partners at the Morgan Library, where the original letter can be found, to see if they are able to provide a transcript or a translation. We will let you know what we discover!

      Robyn @ Paperblanks


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