War and Peace

Full translations into English

  • Clara Bell (from a French version) (1885–86)
  • Nathan Haskell Dole (1898)
  • Leo Wiener (1904)
  • Constance Garnett (1904)
  • Aylmer and Louise Maude (1922–3)
  • Rosemary Edmonds (1957, revised 1978)
  • Ann Dunnigan (1968)
  • Anthony Briggs (2005)
  • Andrew Bromfield (2007), translation of the first completed draft, approx. 400 pages shorter than other English translations
  • Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (2007)
  • Maude translation revised by Amy Mandelker, Oxford University Press (2010) ISBN 978-0-19-923276-5

Comparing translations

Academic Zoja Pavlovskis-Petit has this to say about the translations of War and Peace available in 2000: "Of all the translations of War and Peace, Dunnigan's (1968) is the best....Unlike the other translators, Dunnigan even succeeds with many characteristically Russian folk expressions and proverbs....She is faithful to the text and does not hesitate to render conscientiously those details that the uninitiated may find bewildering: for instance, the statement that Boris's mother pronounced his name with a stress on the o – an indication to the Russian reader of the old lady's affectation."

On the Garnett translation Pavlovskis-Petit writes: "her...War and Peace is frequently inexact and contains too many anglicisms. Her style is awkward and turgid, very unsuitable for Tolstoi." On the Maudes' translation she comments: "this should have been the best translation, but the Maudes' lack of adroitness in dealing with Russian folk idiom, and their style in general, place this version below Dunnigan's." She further comments on Edmonds's revised translation, formerly on Penguin: "[it] is the work of a sound scholar but not the best possible translator; it frequently lacks resourcefulness and imagination in its use of English....a respectable translation but not on the level of Dunnigan or Maude."[35]

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