“The greatest of all novelists...what else can we call the author of War and Peace?” asked Virginia Woolf rhetorically—and literary luminaries the world over have agreed with her. The saga stands alone in its vast scope and minute detail, its immense diversity and final unity. Set in the years leading up to and culminating in Napoleon’s disastrous Russian invasion, the novel focuses upon an entire society torn by conflict and change. Here is humanity in all its innocence and corruption, wisdom and folly, painful defeats and enduring triumphs. Here is the seemingly effortless artistry of a master capable of portraying with equal power the clash of armies and the solitary anguish of the heart. Here, finally, is a view of history and personal destiny that is perpetually modern.
Complete and Unabridged
Translated by Ann Dunnigan
Includes an Introduction by Pat Conroy
And an Afterword by John Hockenberry
This digital edition is beautifully formatted with an active Table of Contents that goes directly to each chapter and all eight parts of the story. Mermaids Classics, an imprint of Mermaids Publishing brings the very best of old book classics to a modern era of digital reading by producing high quality books in ebook format.
Epic in scale, War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families.
This short novel was the artistic culmination of a profound spiritual crisis in Tolstoy's life, a nine-year period following the publication of Anna Karenina during which he wrote not a word of fiction. A thoroughly absorbing and, at times, terrifying glimpse into the abyss of death, it is also a strong testament to the possibility of finding spiritual salvation.
Tolstoy’s beguiling masterpiece entwines love, death and determinism with Russia’s war with Napoleon and its effects on those swept up by the terror it brings. The lives of Pierre, Prince Andrei and Natasha are changed forever as conflict rages throughout the early nineteenth century. Following the rise and fall of some of society’s most influential families, this truthful and poignant epic is as relevant today as ever.
This six part adaptation has been written by Bafta-winning author Andrew Davies and will be directed by Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders, The Scouting Book for Boys, Woman in Black: Angel of Death). Accompanied by a stellar cast including Paul Dano (12 Years a Slave, Prisoners, There Will Be Blood) as the idealistic Pierre, James Norton (Happy Valley, Belle, Grantchester) as the ambitious Prince Andrei and Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) as the impulsive beauty Natasha. It also features the legendary Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter, Longford), Gillian Anderson (The Fall, The X-Files), Greta Scacchi (White Mischief, Presumed Innocent) and many more.
‘War and Peace’ is a masterpiece – a panoramic portrait of Russian society and its descent into the Napoleonic Wars which for over a century has inspired reverential devotion among its readers.
This version is certain to provoke controversy and devotion in equal measures. A ‘first draft’ of the epic version known to all, it was completed in 1866 but never published. A closely guarded secret for a century and a half, the unveiling of the original version of ‘War and Peace’, with an ending different to that we all know, is of huge significance to students of Tolstoy. But it is also sure to prove fascinating to the general reader who will find it an invigorating and absorbing read. Free of the solemn philosophical wanderings, the drama and tragedy of this sweeping tale is reinforced. His characters remain central throughout, emphasising their own personal journeys, their loves and passions, their successes and failures and their own personal tragedies.
500 pages shorter, this is historical fiction at its most vivid and vital, and readers will marvel anew at Tolstoy’s unique ability to conjure the lives and souls of Russia and the Russians in all their glory. For devotees who long for more, for those who struggled and didn’t quite make it to the end, or for those who have always wanted to know what all the fuss is about, this is essential reading.
War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events surrounding the French invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families. Portions of an earlier version of the novel, then known as The Year 1805, were serialized in the magazine The Russian Messenger between 1865 and 1867. The novel was first published in its entirety in 1869. Newsweek in 2009 ranked it first in its list of the Top 100 Books. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 20 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
Tolstoy himself, somewhat enigmatically, said of War and Peace that it was "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle". Large sections of the work, especially in the later chapters, are philosophical discussion rather than narrative. He went on to elaborate that the best Russian literature does not conform to standard norms and hence hesitated to call War and Peace a novel. (Instead, Tolstoy regarded Anna Karenina as his first true novel.)
Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy’s genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle—all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual’s place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as the Iliad: “To read him . . . is to find one’ s way home . . . to everything within us that is fundamental and sane.”
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* ALL 12 novels with professional formatting
* plus RARE unfinished novels, like ‘The Decembrists’ which Tolstoy intended to be a sequel to the great ‘War and Peace’
* brief but informative introductions to all of the novels
* Attractive images relating to Tolstoy’s life and works throughout the eBook
* ALL the short stories that have been translated into English
* features a bonus selection of non-fiction texts, including Tolstoy’s Journal
* ALL of the plays
* special Main Character pages for ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Anna Karenina’ to aid reading these large novels
* improved translations of the short stories, in response to a customer review
* includes contents tables for each novel and play, allowing easy navigation around the massive file
* special literary criticism section, with 9 different essays examining Tolstoy’s contribution to literature
* two biographies on Tolstoy, by his wife and son
The Novels and Novellas
WAR AND PEACE
THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYCH
THE KREUTZER SONATA.
THE FORGED COUPON
The Unfinished Novels
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
The Short Stories
LIST OF STORIES IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
LIST OF STORIES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
THE POWER OF DARKNESS
THE FRUITS OF CULTURE
THE CAUSE OF IT ALL
THE FIRST DISTILLER
THE LIGHT SHINES IN DARKNESS
KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU
WHAT THEN MUST WE DO?
ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SCIENCE AND ART
TOLSTOY ON SHAKESPEARE
TOLSTOY THE ARTIST by Ivan Panin
TOLSTOY THE PREACHER by Ivan Panin
Extract from ‘MY LITERARY PASSIONS’ by William Dean Howells
Extract from ‘ESSAYS ON RUSSIAN NOVELISTS’ by William Lyon Phelps
RUSSIAN ROMANCE by Earl of Evelyn Baring Cromer
Extracts from ‘A SURVEY OF RUSSIAN LITERATURE’ by Isabel Florence Hapgood
Extract from ‘AN OUTLINE OF RUSSIAN LITERATURE’ by Maurice Baring
THE RUSSIAN POINT OF VIEW by Virginia Woolf
Extract from ‘PROPHETS OF DISSENT’ by Otto Heller
REMINISCENCES OF TOLSTOY by Ilya Tolstoy
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF COUNTESS TOLSTOY
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This novel of love, adventure, and male rivalry on the Russian frontier—completed in 1862, when the author was in his early thirties—has always surprised readers who know Tolstoy best through the vast, panoramic fictions of his middle years. Unlike those works, The Cossacks is lean and supple, economical in design and execution. But Tolstoy could never touch a subject without imbuing it with his magnificent many-sidedness, and so this book bears witness to his brilliant historical imagination, his passionately alive spiritual awareness, and his instinctive feeling for every level of human and natural life.
Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude
War and Peace begins with a scene at a party in St. Petersburg in 1805. It is the Napoleonic era – the French general has conquered much of Western Europe and Russia is nervous. Russia is allied with the Austrian Empire which is resisting Napoleon’s forces along its borders.
At the party the reader is introduced to the main characters including Pierre Bezukhov and Andrew Bolkonski and members of two families: Vasili, Anatole, and Helene Kuragin and Natasha, Sonya, and Nicholas Rostov.
The plot is driven by the actions of the families – Andrew and Pierre join the Russian army at the Austrian Front, Nicholas almost gambles his family’s fortune away, and when Pierre returns home, he almost kills his wife’s lover. Andrew, missing in action on the Austrian Front, eventually returns home to find his wife has just died in childbirth.
This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.
‘War & Peace’ is a masterpiece – an epic portrait of Russian society and its descent into the Napoleonic Wars, which has inspired love and devotion among its readers for over a century.
Focusing on the lives of five aristocratic families, ‘War & Peace’ tells the story of three young people whose lives are swept along by events and changed forever: the misfit Pierre, philosophical Andrei and romantic, impulsive Natasha.
Their stories play out alongside a great cast of characters, from the aristocrat to the peasant, as the great historical events of the period unfold, culminating in Napoleon’s fateful invasion of Russia.
Here are eleven masterful stories from the mature author, some autobiographical, others moral parables, and all told with the evocative power that was Tolstoy’s alone. They include “The Prisoner of the Caucasus,” inspired by Tolstoy's own experiences as a soldier in the Chechen War, “Hadji Murat,” the novella Harold Bloom called “the best story in the world,” “The Devil,” a fascinating tale of sexual obsession, and the celebrated “The Death of Ivan Ilyich,” an intense and moving examination of death and the possibilities of redemption.
Pevear and Volokhonsky’s translation captures the richness, immediacy, and multiplicity of Tolstoy’s language, and reveals the author as a passionate moral guide, an unflinching seeker of truth, and ultimately, a creator of enduring and universal art.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Tolstoy was instrumental in bringing a new kind of consciousness to the novel. His narrative structure is noted for its "god-like" ability to hover over and within events, but also in the way it swiftly and seamlessly portrayed a particular character's point of view. His use of visual detail is often cinematic in its scope, using the literary equivalents of panning, wide shots and close-ups, to give dramatic interest to battles and ballrooms alike. These devices, while not exclusive to Tolstoy, are part of the new style of the novel that arose in the mid-19th century and of which Tolstoy proved himself a master.
War and Peace tells the story of five aristocratic families—the Bezukhovs, the Bolkonskys, the Rostovs, the Kuragins and the Drubetskoys—and the entanglements of their personal lives with the then contemporary history of 1805 to 1813, principally Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812. The Bezukhovs, while very rich, are a fragmented family as the old Count, Kirill Vladimirovich, has fathered dozens of illegitimate sons. The Bolkonskys are an old established and wealthy family based at Bald Hills. Old Prince Bolkonsky, Nikolai Andreevich, served as a general under Catherine the Great, in earlier wars. The Moscow Rostovs have many estates, but never enough cash. They are a closely knit, loving family who live for the moment regardless of their financial situation. The Kuragin family has three children, who are all of questionable character. The Drubetskoy family is of impoverished nobility, and consists of an elderly mother and her only son, Boris, whom she wishes to push up the career ladder.
Widely regarded as a pinnacle in realist fiction, Tolstoy considered Anna Karenina his first true novel, when he came to consider War and Peace to be more than a novel.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky declared it to be flawless as a work of art. His opinion was shared by Vladimir Nabokov, who especially admired the flawless magic of Tolstoy's style, and by William Faulkner, who described the novel as the best ever written. The novel is currently enjoying popularity, as demonstrated by a recent poll of 125 contemporary authors by J. Peder Zane, published in 2007 in The Top Ten in Time, which declared that Anna Karenina is the greatest novel ever written
Leo Tolstoy’s classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky.
In their world frivolous liaisons are commonplace, but Anna and Vronsky’s consuming passion makes them a target for scorn and leads to Anna’s increasing isolation. The heartbreaking trajectory of their relationship contrasts sharply with the colorful swirl of friends and family members who surround them, especially the newlyweds Kitty and Levin, who forge a touching bond as they struggle to make a life together. Anna Karenina is a masterpiece not only because of the unforgettable woman at its core and the stark drama of her fate, but also because it explores and illuminates the deepest questions about how to live a fulfilled life.
Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude
A carefree Russian official has what seems to be a trivial accident...
One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.
Authentic and genuinely moving, this memoir of midlife spiritual crisis was first distributed in 1872 and marked a turning point in the author's career as a writer: in subsequent years, Tolstoy would write almost exclusively about religious life, especially devotion among the peasantry.
Generations of readers have been inspired by this heartfelt reexamination of Christian orthodoxy and subsequent spiritual awakening. Ranked among the best books on the subject, this timeless work is for anyone who has ever worried about the fleeting nature of life and speculated about the value of existence.
Two unusual, intriguing short stores — "Three Deaths" and "The Three Hermits" — appear here, along with four powerful long stories: "Family Happiness," "The Devil," "Father Sergius," and "Master and Man." "Family Happiness," the first story in this compilation, features a Tolstoyan theme that recurs both here and elsewhere in the author's writings: "The only certain happiness in life is to live for others." Written over a period of 40 years or more, these works display the author's evolving perspectives on love, marriage, art, politics, and patriotism. They offer an eclectic introduction to the great Russian writer's fiction as well as a feast for those already acquainted with the pleasures of reading Tolstoy.
As an orphan, Jane's childhood is not an easy one but her independence and strength of character keep her going through the miseries inflicted by cruel relatives and a brutal school. However, her biggest challenge is yet to come. Taking a job as a governess in a house full of secrets, for a passionate man she grows more and more attracted to, ultimately forces Jane to call on all her resources in order to hold on to her beliefs.
Set against the backdrop of Russian high society, Tolstoy charts the course of the doomed love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer. Although she initially resists his charms Anna eventually succumbs, falling passionately in love and setting in motion a chain of events that lead to her downfall.