War and Peace

by Graf Leo Tolstoy
Translators: Louise and Aylmer Maude


War and Peace is a literary work by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy that mixes fictional narrative with chapters on history and philosophy. It was first published serially, then published in its entirety in 1869. It is regarded as Tolstoy's finest literary achievement and remains an internationally praised classic of world literature. 
The novel chronicles the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society through the stories of five Russian aristocratic families. Portions of an earlier version, titled The Year 1805, were serialized in The Russian Messenger from 1865 to 1867 before the novel was published in its entirety in 1869.
Tolstoy said that the best Russian literature does not conform to standards and hence hesitated to classify War and Peace, saying it is "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle". Large sections, especially the later chapters, are philosophical discussions rather than narrative. He regarded Anna Karenina as his first true novel.
Excerpted from War and Peace on Wikipedia.

person AuthorLeo Tolstoy
language CountryRussia
api GenreHistorical fictionWarPhilosophical fiction
copyright CopyrightPublic domain in the United States.
camera_alt Book cover-
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description Scans-
headphones AudioLibrivox | Internet Archive
auto_stories Read onlineWAR AND PEACE
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VOLUME I
Book I, II, III
The novel begins in July 1805 in Saint Petersburg, at a soirée given by Anna Pavlovna Scherer, the maid of honour and confidante to the dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. Many of the main characters are introduced as they enter the salon. Pierre Bezukhov is the illegitimate son of a wealthy count, who is dying after a series of strokes. Pierre is about to become embroiled in a struggle for his inheritance. Educated abroad at his father's expense following his mother's death, Pierre is kindhearted but socially awkward, and finds it difficult to integrate into Petersburg society...


VOLUME II
Book I, II, III, IV, V
Volume Two begins with Nikolai Rostov returning on leave to Moscow accompanied by his friend Denisov, his officer from his Pavlograd Regiment. He spends an eventful winter at home. Natasha has blossomed into a beautiful young woman. Denisov falls in love with her and proposes marriage, but is rejected. Nikolai meets Dolokhov, and they grow closer as friends. Dolokhov falls in love with Sonya, Nikolai's cousin, but as she is in love with Nikolai, she rejects Dolokhov's proposal...


VOLUME III
Book I, II, III
With the help of her family, and the stirrings of religious faith, Natasha manages to persevere in Moscow through this dark period. Meanwhile, the whole of Russia is affected by the coming confrontation between Napoleon's army and the Russian army...


VOLUME IV
Book I, II, III, IV
The Rostovs have waited until the last minute to abandon Moscow, even after it became clear that Kutuzov had retreated past Moscow. The Muscovites are being given contradictory instructions on how to either flee or fight. Count Fyodor Rostopchin, the commander in chief of Moscow, is publishing posters, rousing the citizens to put their faith in religious icons, while at the same time urging them to fight with pitchforks if necessary. Before fleeing himself, he gives orders to burn the city...


EPILOGUE
Epilogue
Epilogue in two parts. The first part of the epilogue begins with the wedding of Pierre and Natasha in 1813. Count Rostov dies soon after, leaving his eldest son Nikolai to take charge of the debt-ridden estate. The second part of the epilogue contains Tolstoy's critique of all existing forms of mainstream history.