TOLSTOYS place in nineteenth-century literature is, therefore, in our view, no less fixed and certain than is Voltaires place in the eighteenth century. Both of these writers focus for us in a marvellously complete manner the respective methods of analysing life by which the rationalism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the science and humanitarianism of the nineteenth century have moulded for us the modern world. All the movements, all the problems, all the speculation, all the agitations of the world of to-day in contrast with the immense materialistic civilisation that science has hastily built up for us in three or four generations, all the spirit of modern life is condensed in the pages of Tolstoys writings, because, as we have said, he typifies the soul of the modern man gazing, now undaunted, and now in alarm, at the formidable array of the newly-tabulated cause and effect of humanitys progress, at the appalling cheapness and waste of human life in Natures hands. Tolstoy thus stands for the modern souls alarm in contact with science. And just as sciences work after its destruction of the past ages formalism, superstition, and dogma is directed more and more to the examination and amelioration of human life, so Tolstoys work has been throughout inspired by a passionate love of humanity, and by his ceaseless struggle against conventional religion, dogmatic science, and societys mechanical influence on the minds of its members. To make man more conscious of his acts, to show society its real motives and what it is feeling, and not cry out in admiration at what it pretends to feelthis has been the great novelists aim in his delineation of Russias life. Ever seeking the one truthto arrive at mens thoughts and sensations under the daily pressure of lifenever flinching from his exploration of the dark world of mans animalism and incessant self-deception, Tolstoys realism in art is symbolical of our absorption in the world of fact, in the modern study of natural law, a study ultimately without loss of spirituality, nay, resulting in immense gain to the spiritual life. The realism of the great Russians novels is, therefore, more in line with the modern tendency and outlook than is the general tendency of other schools of Continental literature. And Tolstoy must be finally looked on, not merely as the conscience of the Russian world revolting against the too heavy burden which the Russian people have now to bear in Holy Russias onward march towards the building-up of her great Asiatic Empire, but also as the soul of the modern world seeking to replace in its love of humanity the life of those old religions which science is destroying day by day. In this sense Tolstoy will stand in European literature as the conscience of the modern world.From Leo Tolstoy, in The Bookman Biographies (1903).