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Fyodor Ivanovich Tolstoy

18 October 2013

Author : ivgheny-kosthin

From the early childhood Fyodor Ivanovich Tolstoy was always characterised as violently tempered. This became fully evident when, after graduating from the Marine Corps, he entered military service (for some reason not in the navy but in the Preobrazhenskiy regiment), where he soon managed to distinguish himself by shooting a son of an aristocratic family in a duel. The position of Tolstoy soon became very poor – a rough punishment should be committed immediately. It was obvious that in such a situation in order to avoid investigation and trial the best way was to hide. Without thinking, he took the place of his cousin, who, in a group of Kruzenstern and Lisyansky had to participate in a colossal circumnavigation – the first in the history of Russian navy. That trip made him an American. Fedor’s behaviour during the voyage was extremely unpredictable, he amused himself as he could. One of the stories is connected with the stop near Nukuhiva island. A local craftsman tattooed his body literally from head to toe, only his head and foot were free from Polynesian figures. For those days for a man of noble origin it was a completely wild performance, but Tolstoy was very pleased with what he did. And later, in St. Petersburg, the demonstration of his tattooes was a favourite sight for his close friends. After dinner parties Fedor would undress to the waist in front of the audience, and then accompanied only by men he would retire to a private room, where completely naked, he would display his body covered with knotted ornaments depicting fantastic snakes and birds.

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