Our Team (1899-2019+)

Discover the backgrounds and turns of fate that shaped the minds behind The Free Age Press. From our foundation in the late 19th century, to our first demise, to our re-birth, to our second demise in mid-20th century, to our third foundation in 2019.

Young Nazmi Chief Executive interviewed in 2009 on local TV

Nazmi Akdin

Current Chief Executive – Technician – Translator – Typesetter – Curator

When the opportunity to bring this visionary editing house back on track was brought to me I had no hesitation as it had given me one of the best life changing books I have read to-day:
“The kingdom of God is within you”

As a free software & society advocate, I had started “Pirate Editions” to help people print books back in 2017. We can all read, write, store and print plenty of text with computers, yet the edition of binded volumes still remains in the hands of the few.
It is harmful to book readers and writers alike, not to mention the free speech issues of having those people choosing what is published and what is not.

The printing press enabled us to be readers, it’s time we all be authors.

 

Founder Vladimir Chertkov Portrait by Ilya Repin

Vladimir Chertkov

Historical Chief Executive – Founder – Curator

Exiled to England in 1897 and deemed to be more tolstoyan than Tolstoy himself, he is the reason this house exists. As soon as he arrived, he set himself to printing books in russian, and finding translators for Tolstoy’s writings to spread progressive ideas globally.

He remains a controversial character as he was very stern to his colleagues, leading to many, such as Arthur Fifield, eventually leaving The Free Age Press under his expectations and demands.

Also his life long quarrel with Tolstoy’s wife, on copyright, as well as when he lived with other Tolstoy’s friends in the Yasnia Poliana homestead, preaching a simple life and criticizing her aristocratic ways while being one himself, and living at her expense, in her home.

Lastly his relation to the soviet revolutionaries after Tolstoy’s death and the free age press’ first demise has also led to controversies as he started altering Tolstoy’s teaching to fit the Soviet antichristian agenda.

Louise and Aylmer Maude couple in front of a binded book circa 1900

Aylmer & Louise Maude

Translators

Close friends to Tolstoy, they are behind most of the English editions published by The Free Age Press. Aylmer was also authorized by Tolstoy to write his biography in 1902.

Born in England, from an Anglican reverend father, at 16, he was sent in the Moscow lyceum where he studied and then worked until he was 20. After having got to know both the British muscovite diaspora and the Russians, he traded carpets in the Muir department store, it was a successful but unpleasant experience as he didn’t share the “business Ethos”  of his compatriots. Longing for more spirituality, he started diving into the Russian culture so as to becoming a bridge between Russians and British. He also started getting more into true Christian spirituality. Louise was born Shanks and was the daughter of James Shanks, co-founder of the S & B, Magasin Anglais in Moscow, one of her 5 sisters, Mary, illustrated Tolstoy’s Where Love is, God is. The two got married in Moscow in 1884, yet Aylmer only met Tolstoy 3 years later. Being greatly likeminded, the Maude couple became frequent visitors at the Yasnaya Polyana homestead, and Tolstoy visited them back in Moscow until they retired in England in 1897. Aylmer was then 40 and they dedicated themselves to non-violence and spreading Christianity. They kept a correspondance and visited Tolstoy, lived in a Tolstoyan community and worked at translating his works. She worked mainly on the fictional works while he worked on the philosophical ones. Their translations are deemed to be the best available to day.

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy with walking stick, fur hat and backpack, walking on a dirt path

Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Fiction and non-fiction Author – Philosopher – Non-violence and social justice advocate
Having given us most of our values, he deserves a place here in the team. Tolstoy was quite an ambiguous character, having spent an aristocratic young life, he slowly turned away from his shortcomings. Shame then a longing for spirituality got him to quit gambling, brothels, drinking and such. He was then about 40 and quite a successful novelist, the radical shift he had and the pamphlets he started writing on social progress, Christianity and peace caused him much trouble with the orthodox church as well as the empire’s authorities.

Countess Sophia Andréïevna Behrs Tolstoy

Curator  of Tolstoy’s fiction works such as War And Peace – Wife – Estate manager
 

Arthur C. Fifield

Translator – Curator – Typesetter
 
Little is known of this man, he worked with Chertkov for a long timeIf you have a photograph of him please contact us!

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