Teacher Guide

War and Peace Lesson Plan

Introduction to War and Peace

Before writing War and Peace, Tolstoy had set out to write an account of the release of the Decemberist revolutionaries after more than 25 years in jail. Tolstoy found that for each historical story he wanted to tell, he had to go backward in order to contextualize the action. So Tolstoy settled on starting the action of the book in 1805 when Russia was first realizing it needed to challenge Napoleon's military expansion. The book spans several more wars with Napoleon and the transformative internal changes within Russia, the action ending in 1820. At over 1300 pages long it is one of the longest works in the literary canon. It has long passages written in French, reflecting French...

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