The title story of this collection is about a man battling a mysterious illness. His family visit his bedside, their faces masks of concern. His colleagues pay their respects but only think of the advantages created by his death. This intensely moving story of Ivan Ilyich's lonely end is one of the masterpieces of Tolstoy's late fiction.
The ten other stories in this new collection include 'The Kreutzer Sonata', 'The Devil', and 'Hadji Murat' which has been described by Harold Bloom as 'the best story in the world'.
Leo Tolstoy was born in central Russia on 9 September 1828. In 1852 he published his first work, the autobiographical Childhood. He served in the army during the Crimean War and his Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6) are based on his experiences. His two most popular masterpieces are War and Peace (1864-69) and Anna Karenina (1875-8). He died in 20 November 1910.