War and Peace SummaryWar and Peace , historical novel by Leo Tolstoy , originally published as Voyna i mir in — War and Peace begins in the Russian city of St. Most of the characters are introduced at a party, including Pierre Bezukhov , Andrey Bolkonsky , and the Kuragin and Rostov families. Much of the novel focuses on the interactions between the Bezukhovs, Bolkonskys , and the Rostovs. Andrey is then injured at the Battle of Austerlitz and presumed dead, until he arrives home to his wife, Lise, who dies during childbirth soon after. Pierre, meanwhile, has married Helene Kuragina. She is unfaithful to him, and Pierre duels with the other man, almost killing him.
Why should you read Tolstoy's "War and Peace"? - Brendan Pelsue
Tolstoy fought in the Crimean War, adding to the realism of his accounts of the Napoleonic struggle. Soon after, he experienced a religious conversion, gave up all his material wealth, and lived out his remaining days in the simple life of a peasant. This work, written in , has been termed an epic because it portrays history as cyclical.
Look Inside Reading Guide. Reading Guide. Dec 02, ISBN Oct 05, ISBN And as the novel progresses, these characters transcend their specificity, becoming some of the most moving—and human—figures in world literature.
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The characters in War and Peace endure extreme experiences, and emerge at the end as quite different people. The miracle of the book is that the Natasha who falls in love with anyone and everyone in the ballrooms of the opening is recognisably the same woman who withdraws from society at the end. This is the story of a group of people living within a society. It understands and sympathises with those ideas but it excuses itself from repeating them. After pages, you will agree that this is the best way to write a novel. Its details are not exquisite recreations of lost practice, but ways in which an individual psychology can engage with the real world. It is about history, and both the tsar and Napoleon make awesome appearances.
We are introduced to the major families through the vehicle of a soiree at the Anna Pavlovna's home, a name-day celebration at the Rostovs, and a description of the isolated existence of the Bolkonskys at their country seat. Prince Andrey and Pierre discuss their futures and what they seek in life, both young men idealizing the"man of destiny" who is soon to invade Russia. Old Count Bezuhov dies, leaving Pierre wealthy, titled, and the most eligible bachelor in Petersburg. They each discover the ineffectuality of the individual in a mass situation. Nikolay accepts being a"cog in a machine" and Andrey rejects being part of the administering forces, choosing, instead, to fight at the front.
It is regarded as a central work of world literature and one of Tolstoy's finest literary achievements. 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 ,  were serialized in The Russian Messenger from to , then published in its entirety in Tolstoy said War and Peace is "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle. Instead, he regarded Anna Karenina as his first true novel.