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Louise Maude (née  Shanks)

Louise Shanks married Aylmer Maude in 1884 and as a team they were the first to translate the works of Tolstoy directly from Russian into English.  Louise and Aylmer were friends of Tolstoy, making regular visits to his home.  

Louise Shanks (1855-1939) was the eldest daughter of James Shanks snr.


Aylmer specialised in the philosophical works of Tolstoy and Louise translated Tolstoy's novels.  Their translations were published in both names.   


Louise's translation of Resurrection was published in 1900 by the Brotherhood Publishing Company. 


The Oxford University Press Centenary Edition of Tolstoy came out in 21 volumes between 1928 and 1937. 

Tolstoy thought highly of the Maudes's translations, saying better translations "could not be invented".  For many years these were the standard Tolstoy translations and considered to be of high quality.  

More on the Maudes

 Click her for more on the Maudes:  Wikipedia Maude 

Aylmer went to study at the Moscow Lyceum from 1874 to 1876, and was a tutor there between 1877 and 1880.  Later he managed the carpet department at the Scottish-owned department store, Muir & Mirrielees. This was followed by Maude becoming business manager and then director of the Shanks-owned Anglo-Russian Carpet Company.


Aylmer Maude met Tolstoy in 1888, he was a frequent visitor at the Tolstoy home.

After the Maudes settled in England Tolstoy and Aylmer kept up a regular correspondence, with Maude making occasional trips to Russia to see Tolstoy at his Yasnaya Polyana estate. During his 1902 visit Tolstoy authorised Maude to write his biography.


While Aylmer Maude did not stick rigidly to a Tolstoyian set of ideas, and was associated with a variety of causes and campaigns, he never wavered in his admiration of Tolstoy, even when he held different views: 'though Tolstoy is sincere and wise, he, like all mortals, makes mistakes'.

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