1472 pages, 8 × 5.28 × 2.36 in
April 29, 2003
Penguin UK (PB)
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0140444173
ISBN - 13: 9780140444179
From the Publisher
In Russia's struggle with Napoleon, Tolstoy saw a tragedy that involved all mankind. Yet while his historical vision ranged beyond national frontiers, his imaginative vision focused, with extraordinary intensity, on the lives of individuals, on the physical reality of human experience and its bewildering complexity. Greater than a historical chronicle, War and Peace is an affirmation of life itself, 'a complete picture', as a contemporary reviewer put it, 'of everything in which people find their happiness and greatness, their grief and humiliation'.
About the Author
Tolstoy's life was defined by moral and artistic seeking and by conflict with himself and his surroundings. Of the old nobility, he began by living the usual, dissipated life of a man of his class; however, his inner compulsion for moral self-justification led him in a different direction. In 1851 he became a soldier in the Caucasus and began to publish even while stationed there (Childhood  and other works). Even more significant were his experiences during the Crimean War: the siege of Sevastopol provided the background for his sketches of human behavior in battle in the Sevastopol Stories (1855--56). After the war, Tolstoy mixed for a time with St. Petersburg literary society, traveled extensively abroad, and married Sophia Bers. The couple were happy for a long time, with Countess Tolstoy participating actively in her husband's literary and other endeavors. The center of Tolstoy's life became family, which he celebrated in the final section of War and Peace (1869). In this great novel, he unfolded the stories of several families in Russia during the Napoleonic period and explored the nature of historical causation and of freedom and necessity. A different note emerged in Anna Karenina (1876). Here, too, Tolstoy focused on families but this time emphasized an individual's conflict with society's norms. A period of inner crisis, depression, and thoughts of suicide culminated in Tolstoy's 1879 conversion to a rationalistic form of Christianity in which moral behavior w
From Our Editors
Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars, Leo Tolstoy's epic encompasses history and humanity, life and death, joy and grief. Sweeping across grim times and the situations of extreme difficulty, Tolstoy paints a portrait of all humanity. An immensely complex book, War and Peace is often regarded as the greatest novel ever written in any language — and the scope of its tragedy and vision have made it an enormously powerful, enduring classic.