Lev (Leo) Nikolajevitsj Tolstoj (1828–1910) was een Russische schrijver die veel invloed heeft gehad op de Russische literatuur en politiek. Hieronder de brief die hij zijn vrouw schreef toen hij haar na 48 jaar verliet. Hij overleed drie weken later, op 20 november.
October 28, 1910, 4:00 a.m.
My departure will grieve you, I am sorry for that, but please understand and believe that I could not act otherwise. My position in the house is becoming and has become unbearable. Apart from everything else, I can no longer live in these conditions of luxury in which I
have heen living, and I am doing what old men of my age commonly do: leaving this worldly life in order to
live out my last days in peace and solitude.
Please try to understand and do not follow me if you learn where I am. Your coming would only make your position and mine worse and would not alter my
decision. I thank you for your honorable forty-eight
years of life with me, and I beg you to forgive me for anything in which I have been at fault toward you, as I with all my soul forgive you for any wrong you have done me. I advise you to reconcile yourself with the new position in which my departure places you and not to have an unkindly feeling toward me. If you want to report anything to me, give it to Sasha. She will know where I am and will send on what is necessary; but she can't tell you where I am for I have made her promise not to tell anyone.