The Road to Calvary

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The Road to Calvary (Russian: Хождение по мукам, translit. Khozhdenie po mukam) is a trilogy of novels by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy, tracing the fate of the Russian intelligentsia on the eve, during and after the revolutionary events of 1917. It consists of the novels "Sisters" (1921-1922), "The Eighteenth Year" (1927-1928) and "Gloomy Morning" (1940-1941).[1]


In the first chapters of the epic, St. Petersburg is shown in the beginning of 1914. Sisters Dasha and Katya Bulaviny, originally from Samara, are carried away by the poet-decadent Bessonoff. Katya has an illicit affair behind her husband's back, lawyer Smokovnikov.

Over time, Ekaterina Dmitrievna falls in love with officer Vadim Roshchin, and Dasha - with Telegin, an engineer at the Baltic plant. Vortices of the World War, two revolutions and civil war carry the four main characters to different corners of the country. Their paths intersect more than once and again diverge. Roshchin joins the Volunteer Army, and Telegin joins the Red Army. At the end of the war, all four meet in the capital of Soviet Russia, where in the presence of Lenin and Stalin are enthusiastically listening to Krzhizhanovsky's historic report on the GOELRO plan.


For his trilogy Alexey Tolstoy was awarded the Stalin Prize of the first degree in the amount of 100,000 rubles on March 19, 1943, which he transferred to the Defense Fund for the construction of the tank "Grozny" (T-34 No. 310-0929).


  • The Road to Calvary — Soviet three-part feature film (1957-1959)
  • The Road to Calvary — Soviet 13 episode miniseries (1977)
  • The Road to Calvary — Russian 12 episode miniseries (2017)


  1. ^ Neil Cornwell, Reference Guide to Russian Literature Routledge, 2013, ISBN 9781134260706, 810 p.

Further reading[edit]

  • G.N. Vorontsova (2014). Natalia Kornienko, ed. A. Tolstoy's novel "The Road to Calvary" (1919-1921). Creative history and textology problems. Moscow: IMLI RAN. p. 344. ISBN 978-5-9208-0441-9.