War And Peace
'...not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle'
- Leo Tolstoy
Striking a balance between philosophical discussion and compelling story-telling, War and Peace transcends the restrictions that Tolstoy perceived in the conventional novel.
Set in Russia during the Napoleonic era, this epic novel follows the fortunes of five aristocratic Russian families over the course of the French invasion. Tolstoy's timeless portrayal of the fates of families set against the backdrop of war is ultimately optimistic and life-affirming, with the educated, but socially awkward Count Pierre Bezukhov often giving voice to Tolstoy's own beliefs.
Weaving together the historical and the personal, this powerful work of Russian literature encompasses the entirety of human existence.
Leo Tolstoy was born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, and is considered to be one of the greatest authors of all time. His novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina best illustrate the dramatic scope and intense realism which became his trademark and stand as a testament to his extraordinary observational powers. The poet Matthew Arnold wrote that a novel by Tolstoy is not a work of art, but a piece of life. Tolstoy's own wartime experiences culminated in his conversion to pacifist and spiritual anarchist, and his ideas on non-violent resistance had a profound influence on 20th-century figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
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