THE LIFE OF TOLSTOY
As the authors did not copyright any of their writings for the Posrednik, many other publishers brought out reprints of our books. The number of these reprints is not known, but is, without doubt, immense. Our publications grew so in quantity that it was impossible even for the Government inspectors to keep full control, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of copies eluded their vigilant eyes. Three to four millions yearly were kept up a fairly long time. The Report of the Moscow Committee of the Society for the Promotion of Popular Instruction, in the middle of the 'nineties, also states the number of copies sold of the publications of the Posrednik as 3,500,000 yearly.
The soul of this great enterprise was Tolstoy, who gave much of his energy to it. The first publications were tales from his reading-book—"The Prisoner of the Caucasus," "God Sees the Truth." Later were published "What People are Living By," "A Fire Neglected Consumes the House," "Where Love is there is God," "Two Old Men," "The Candle," and "Ivan the Fool." Soon many of the best Russian authors followed Tolstoy's example, and Posrednik published popular editions of Leskoff, Garshin, Ertel, Potekhin, Ostrovsky, Savikhin, Obolensky, Wagner, Nemirovitch-Danchenko