Sofia T., age 46, Yasnaya Polyana


In the evening the servants all came in dressed as mummers, and danced to the harmonica and piano. It was Tanya who had arranged for this, for she wanted some silly fun. She and Masha dressed up too, and when Masha walked through the door Lyovochka and I gasped: she was dressed as a boy, in a pair of tight trousers which showed her behind, and she showed not an ounce of shame. What a strange, foolish, inscrutable creature. These rowdy parties always make me depressed.

The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy, translated by Cathy Porter, Alma Books, 2009.