Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828 at Yasnaya Polyana, his family's estate in Russia's Tula Province, about 210 kilometers south of Moscow, the youngest of four sons. His mother, Mariya Nikolayevna, née Princess Volkonskaya, died before he was two years old, whereupon his father's distant cousin Tatyana Ergolsky took charge of the children. His father Count Nikolay Ilich Tolstoy, a veteran of the Patriotic War of 1812, died in 1837. His grandmother died 11 months later, and then his next guardian, his aunt Aleksandra, in 1841. Tolstoy and his four siblings were then transferred to the care of another aunt in Kazan, in western Russia. Tolstoy remembered a cousin who lived at Yasnaya Polyana, Tatyana Aleksandrovna Yergolskaya ("Aunt Toinette," as he called her), as the greatest influence on his childhood, and later, as a young man, Tolstoy wrote some of his most-touching letters to her. Despite the constant presence of death, Tolstoy remembered his childhood in idyllic terms. His first published work, Detstvo (1852; Childhood), was a fictionalized and nostalgic account of his early years.