War and Peace

Introduction

War and Peace (Russian: Война и мир, romanized: Voyna i mir; pre-reform Russian: Война и миръ; [vɐjˈna i ˈmʲir]) is a literary work mixed with chapters on history and philosophy by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published serially, then published in its entirety in 1869. It is regarded as one of Tolstoy's finest literary achievements and remains an internationally praised classic of world literature.[1][2][3]

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 1805,[4] were serialized in The Russian Messenger from 1865 to 1867 before the novel was published in its entirety in 1869.[5]

Tolstoy said War and Peace is "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle." Large sections, especially the later chapters, are philosophical discussions rather than narrative.[6] The writer rewrote the novel several times.[7] Tolstoy also said that the best Russian literature does not conform to standards and hence hesitated to call War and Peace a novel. Instead, he regarded Anna Karenina as his first true novel.


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