At night, I stayed awake in the hut where we were staying to find out what happened next by the light of a small lamp, long after everyone else had gone to sleep and trying my best not to disturb anyone.” Read more... “One of the key questions that Tolstoy asks in the appendix is the central question of War and Peace : how can we explain the fact that, on orders, millions of people go out and kill one another, when they know that killing another human being is morally wrong?” Read more... “The reason I chose War and Peace is that it is the greatest novel of all time and I still think it is even after reading it five times…. As a novelist, when you begin to write in this era it is like the elephant in the room, especially if you love it as much as I do. It’s a demotic theory of history, though not necessarily a socialist view.” Read more... “One doesn’t have to invent the bicycle, there is one: it’s War and Peace.
I’ve shared the reasons why before, but as a recap: it’s taught me more about life than any other book, it’s beautifully written, and has helped me through anxiety and trauma. The short answer: It depends on whether you want a War and Peace that’s easier to read or a translation that’s more faithful to the original.
Isaac Babel Garrett’s translation of War and Peace is in the public domain, so it’s the version you’ll probably get if you download a free copy. She hired a secretary who would read the Russian text to her aloud, and she would dictate back the English translation.
But I struggle to read it, and I feel it loses the magic of other translations, like Anthony Briggs’s. The Maude's knew Tolstoy well, spent a long time living in Moscow, and spoke impeccable Russian.
The Maude translation used to be more clunky, and it was criticized for including anglicized character names. My older and battered edition of War and Peace is Penguin’s earlier paperback, with a portrait of a Russian princess on the front cover.
From IN Strabo’s review of War and Peace, Zara, January 1870. I started Tolstoy Therapy back in 2012 to share my healing journey through anxiety and PTSD with books.
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 recognizably the same woman who withdraws from society at the end.
Andrei Bolkonsky is not Tolstoy’s hero, and Natasha is not a romantic heroine. It forgives ideas of heroism, most beautifully in the last words any character speaks in the book, as Andrei’s son thinks of his father at the end of the First Epilogue.
4 This is not a historical novel, but a novel that discusses events of the recent past within the memory of many of Tolstoy’s first readers. Its details are not exquisite recreations of lost practice, but ways in which an individual psychology can engage with the real world.
The book has the rhythm of life, and likability is not a steady, constant factor; sometimes Natasha is entrancing, sometimes a great bore. It understands, as James Buchanan once wrote, that love is the circus hoop through which history is made to leap again and again.
The book is the product of a very big mind, who lost interest in almost everything War and Peace was about before he died. Many people find the first 100 pages dauntingly full of characters, and only then does it seem to smooth out and become lucid.
It also has the very worst closing sentence by a country mile, which you will have to read four times before deciding that its proposition is perfect nonsense. Since the dawn of recorded history, war has proven an irresistible, inexhaustible and universally appealing subject.
So it’s no surprise that even today, war books” comprise a growth segment in the publishing industry, with more titles appearing each year than any one reader could possibly get through. It could have been The Guns of August, A Farewell to Arms, Ana basis, Stalingrad, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Longest Day, Sword of Honor, Gates of Fire, Patton, A Rumor of War, The Great War and Modern Memory, Dispatches, Good-bye to All That, Tarawa or none of the above.
“Homer presents the clash of fundamental approaches: straightforward martial power and prowess, as embodied by Achilles, and wisdom or cunning, as practiced by Odysseus.” Thucydides examines the great themes of war from the highest levels of the making of strategy and policy to the moral dimensions and the sharp end of battle.
“The Battle of Borodin is probably the best account of the gritty warfare of this period, to say nothing of Napoleon’s abandonment of 30,000 sick and wounded in the city of Vilnius, Lithuania.” Grant’s memoirs represent one of the few exceptions to that rule, being honest, deeply insightful and a brilliant piece of writing.
This searing memoir of the Pacific War makes the reader experience the truth beneath the cliché.” “McPherson’s classic stands out as a lucid, beautifully written, balanced account of the Civil War.
From economics to politics to social consequences and battle history, he leaves no stone unturned.” “Moore and Galloway have written by far and away the best piece of military history on one of the early battles of the Vietnam War.
Author Leo Tolstoy Original title Translator first translation of War and Peace into English was by American Nathan Haskell Dole, in 1899CountryRussiaLanguageRussian, with some French and Permanence Novel (Historical novel)Publisher The Russian Messenger (serial) Serialized 1865–1867; book 1869Media typePrintPages1,225 (first published edition)Tolstoy said War and Peace is “not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle.” Tolstoy also said that the best Russian literature does not conform to standards and hence hesitated to call War and Peace a novel.
In September of that year, he wrote to Elizabeth Bars, his sister-in-law, asking if she could find any chronicles, diaries or records that related to the Napoleonic period in Russia. He was dismayed to find that few written records covered the domestic aspects of Russian life at that time, and tried to rectify these omissions in his early drafts of the novel.
During the writing of the second half, he read widely and acknowledged Schopenhauer as one of his main inspirations. Tolstoy wrote in a letter to Fantasy FET that what he has written in War and Peace is also said by Schopenhauer in The World as Will and Representation.
Tolstoy was dissatisfied with this version, although he allowed several parts of it to be published with a different ending in 1867. Russians who had read the serialized version were eager to buy the complete novel, and it sold out almost immediately.
The title may also be another reference to Titus, described as being a master of war and peace in The Twelve Caesars, written by Suetonius in 119. The completed novel was then called Donna i Mir ( in new-style orthography; in English War and Peace).
His use of visual detail is often comparable to cinema, using literary techniques that resemble panning, wide shots and close-ups. Tolstoy interspersed these essays into the story in a way that defies previous fictional convention.
The novel is set 60 years before Tolstoy's day, but he had spoken with people who lived through the 1812 French invasion of Russia. He worked from primary source materials (interviews and other documents), as well as from history books, philosophy texts and other historical novels.
Tolstoy also used a great deal of his own experience in the Crimean War to bring vivid detail and first-hand accounts of how the Imperial Russian Army was structured. His aim was to blur the line between fiction and history, to get closer to the truth, as he states in Volume II.
Cover of War and Peace, Italian translation, 1899. Although the book is mainly in Russian, significant portions of dialogue are in French. It has been suggested that the use of French is a deliberate literary device, to portray artifice while Russian emerges as a language of sincerity, honesty, and seriousness.
It is suggested that this is to demonstrate Russia freeing itself from foreign cultural domination, and to show that a once-friendly nation has turned into an enemy. The historical context of the novel begins with the execution of Louis Antoine, Duke of Enchain in 1805, while Russia is ruled by Alexander I during the Napoleonic Wars.
Key historical events woven into the novel include the Ulm Campaign, the Battle of Austerlitz, the Treaties of Tilsit, and the Congress of Erfurt. Tolstoy then uses the Battle of Strong and the in his novel, before the occupation of Moscow and the subsequent fire.
Prince Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky : A strong but skeptical, thoughtful and philosophical aide-de-camp in the Napoleonic Wars. The caring, nurturing nature of her large eyes in her otherwise plain face is frequently mentioned.
Countess Natalia Rostov: The wife of Count Ilya Rostov, she is frustrated by her husband's mishandling of their finances, but is determined that her children succeed anyway Countess Natalia Ilyinichna “Natasha” Rostov : A central character, introduced as “not pretty but full of life”, romantic, impulsive and highly strung. Countess Vera Ilyinichna Rostov: Eldest of the Rostov children, she marries the German career soldier, Berg.
Princess Elena Vasilyevna “Helene” Urging : A beautiful and sexually alluring woman who has many affairs, including (it is rumored) with her brother Anatole. Prince Anatole Vasilyevich Keratin : Helene's brother, a handsome and amoral pleasure seeker who is secretly married yet tries to elope with Natasha Rostov.
The Drubetskoys Prince Boris Drubetskoy: A poor but aristocratic young man driven by ambition, even at the expense of his friends and benefactors, who marries Julie Karina for money and is rumored to have had an affair with Helene Bezukhova. Princess Anna Mihalovna Drubetskaya: The impoverished mother of Boris, whom she wishes to push up the career ladder.
Other prominent characters Floor Ivanovich Molotov: A cold, almost psychopathic officer, he ruins Nikolai Rostov by luring him into an outrageous gambling debt after unsuccessfully proposing to Sonya Rostov. He is also rumored to have had an affair with Helene Bezukhova, and he provides for his poor mother and hunchbacked sister.
Anna Pavlova Shear: Also known as Annette, she is the hostess of the salon that is the site of much of the novel's action in Petersburg and schemes with Prince Vasily Keratin. Maria Dmitryevna Akhrosimova: An older Moscow society lady, good-humored but brutally honest.
Vasily Dmitri ch Denison: Nikolai Rostov's friend and brother officer, who unsuccessfully proposes to Natasha. Platoon Karate: The archetypal good Russian peasant, whom Pierre meets in the prisoner-of- war camp.
OSI Andean: a Freemason who convinces Pierre to join his mysterious group. Bilirubin: A diplomat with a reputation for cleverness, an acquaintance of Prince Andrei Bolkonsky.
In addition, several real-life historical characters (such as Napoleon and Prince Mikhail Kutuzov) play a prominent part in the book. His grandparents and their friends were the models for many of the main characters; his great-grandparents would have been of the generation of Prince Vasily or Count Ilya Rostov.
Educated abroad at his father's expense following his mother's death, Pierre is kindhearted but socially awkward, and finds it difficult to integrate into Petersburg society. They respect Pierre during the soirée of Anna Pavlova Shear because his Father Count Bezukhov is a very rich man, and as Pierre is his favorite, most aristocrats think that the fortune of his father will be given to him even though he is an illegitimate son.
Also attending the soirée is Pierre's friend, Prince Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky, husband of Life, a charming society favorite. He is disillusioned with Petersburg society and with married life; feeling that his wife is empty and superficial, he comes to hate her and all women, expressing patently misogynistic views to Pierre when the two are alone.
Andrei tells Pierre he has decided to become aide-de-camp to Prince Mikhail Ilarionovich Kutuzov in the coming war (The Battle of Austerlitz) against Napoleon in order to escape a life he cannot stand. The plot moves to Moscow, Russia's former capital, contrasting its provincial, more Russian ways to the more European society of Saint Petersburg.
Count Ilya Andreyevich Rostov and Countess Natalia Rostov are an affectionate couple but forever worried about their disordered finances. Twenty-year-old Nikolai Lynch pledges his love to Sonya (Sofia Alexandria), his fifteen-year-old cousin, an orphan who has been brought up by the Rostov's.
The eldest child, Vera Ilyinichna, is cold and somewhat haughty but has a good prospective marriage to a Russian-German officer, Adolf Markovic Berg. Petra (Pyotr Lynch) at nine is the youngest; like his brother, he is impetuous and eager to join the army when of age.
At Bald Hills, the Bolkonskys' country estate, Prince Andrei departs for war and leaves his terrified, pregnant wife Life with his eccentric father Prince Nikolai Andreyevich and devoutly religious sister Maria Nikolayevna Bolkonskaya, who refuses to marry the son of a wealthy aristocrat on account of her devotion to her father and suspicion that the young man would be unfaithful to her. At the Schöngrabern engagement, Nikolai Rostov, now an ensign in the hussars, has his first taste of battle.
Boris Drubetskoy introduces him to Prince Andrei, whom Rostov insults in a fit of impetuousness. Nikolai gambles and socializes with his officer, Vasily Dmitri ch Denison, and befriends the ruthless Floor Ivanovich Molotov.
Bolkonsky, Rostov and Denison are involved in the disastrous Battle of Austerlitz, in which Prince Andrei is badly wounded as he attempts to rescue a Russian standard. As the battle is about to start, Prince Andrei thinks the approaching “day be his Toulon, or his Ar cola “, references to Napoleon's early victories.
Later in the battle, however, Andrei falls into enemy hands and even meets his hero, Napoleon. But his previous enthusiasm has been shattered; he no longer thinks much of Napoleon, “so petty did his hero with his paltry vanity and delight in victory appear, compared to that lofty, righteous and kindly sky which he had seen and comprehended”.
Tolstoy portrays Austerlitz as an early test for Russia, one which ended badly because the soldiers fought for irrelevant things like glory or renown rather than the higher virtues which would produce, according to Tolstoy, a victory at Borodin during the 1812 invasion. Book Two begins with Nikolai Rostov briefly returning on leave to Moscow accompanied by his friend Denison, his officer from his Payload Regiment.
Although his mother pleads with Nikolai to marry a wealthy heiress to rescue the family from its dire financial straits, he refuses. Pierre Bezukhov, upon finally receiving his massive inheritance, is suddenly transformed from a bumbling young man into the most eligible bachelor in Russian society.
Despite knowing that it is wrong, he is convinced into marriage with Prince Keratin's beautiful and immoral daughter Helene (Elena Vasilyevna Urging). Helene, who is rumored to be involved in an incestuous affair with her brother Anatole, tells Pierre that she will never have children with him.
He abandons his former carefree behavior and enters upon a philosophical quest particular to Tolstoy: how should one live a moral life in an ethically imperfect world? Andrei recovers from his near-fatal wound in a military hospital and returns home, only to find his wife Life dying in childbirth.
Burdened with nihilistic disillusionment, Prince Andrei does not return to the army but remains on his estate, working on a project that would codify military behavior to solve problems of disorganization responsible for the loss of life on the Russian side. Pierre's wife, Helene, begs him to take her back, and trying to abide by the Freemason laws of forgiveness, he agrees.
Prince Andrei feels impelled to take his newly written military notions to Saint Petersburg, naively expecting to influence either the Emperor himself or those close to him. Young Natasha, also in Saint Petersburg, is caught up in the excitement of her first grand ball, where she meets Prince Andrei and briefly reinvigorates him with her vivacious charm.
Andrei believes he has found purpose in life again and, after paying the Rostov's several visits, proposes marriage to Natasha. However, Andrei's father dislikes the Rostov's and opposes the marriage, and he insists the couple wait a year before marrying.
Count Rostov takes her and Sonya to Moscow in order to raise funds for her trousseau. Natasha visits the Moscow opera, where she meets Helene and her brother Anatole.
Anatole succeeds in making Natasha believe he loves her, eventually establishing plans to elope. Natasha writes to Princess Maria, Andrei's sister, breaking off her engagement.
Devastated, Natasha makes a suicide attempt and is left seriously ill. Pierre is initially horrified by Natasha's behavior but realizes he has fallen in love with her.
As the Great Comet of 1811–12 streaks the sky, life appears to begin anew for Pierre. The Battle of Borodin, fought on September 7, 1812, and involving more than a quarter of a million troops and seventy thousand casualties was a turning point in Napoleon's failed campaign to defeat Russia.
It is vividly depicted through the plot and characters of War and Peace. Painting by Louis-François, Baron Jejune, 1822. With the help of her family, and the stirrings of religious faith, Natasha manages to persevere in Moscow through this dark period. Old Prince Bolkonsky dies of a stroke knowing that French marauders are coming for his estate.
No organized help from any Russian army seems available to the Bolkonskys, but Nikolai Rostov turns up at their estate in time to help put down an incipient peasant revolt. Back in Moscow, the patriotic Petra joins a crowd in audience of Tear Alexander and manages to snatch a biscuit thrown from the balcony window of the Cathedral of the Assumption by the Tear.
Napoleon himself is the main character in this section, and the novel presents him in vivid detail, both personally and as both a thinker and would-be strategist. Also described are the well-organized force of over four hundred thousand troops of the French Grande Armée (only one hundred and forty thousand of them actually French-speaking) that marches through the Russian countryside in the late summer and reaches the outskirts of the city of Smolensk.
Pierre decides to leave Moscow and go to watch the Battle of Borodin from a vantage point next to a Russian artillery crew. In the midst of the turmoil he experiences first-hand the death and destruction of war ; Eugène's artillery continues to pound Russian support columns, while Marshals Na and Devout set up a crossfire with artillery positioned on the Semyonovskaya heights.
The Russians, however, have won a moral victory by standing up to Napoleon's reputedly invincible army. The Russian army withdraws the next day, allowing Napoleon to march on to Moscow.
Anatole loses a leg, and Andrei suffers a grenade wound in the abdomen. Count Floor Rostopchin, the commander in chief of Moscow, is publishing posters, rousing the citizens to put their faith in religious icons, while at the same time urging them to fight with pitchforks if necessary.
The Rostov's have a difficult time deciding what to take with them, but in the end, Natasha convinces them to load their carts with the wounded and dying from the Battle of Borodin. He becomes anonymous in all the chaos, shedding his responsibilities by wearing peasant clothes and shunning his duties and lifestyle.
Natasha recognizes and smiles at him, and he in turn realizes the full scope of his love for her. Pierre saves the life of a French officer who enters his home looking for shelter, and they have a long, amicable conversation.
The next day Pierre goes into the street to resume his assassination plan, and comes across two French soldiers robbing an Armenian family. Pierre becomes friends with a fellow prisoner, Platoon Karate, a Russian peasant with a saintly demeanor.
In Karate, Pierre finally finds what he has been seeking: an honest person of integrity, who is utterly without pretense. After witnessing French soldiers sacking Moscow and shooting Russian civilians arbitrarily, Pierre is forced to march with the Grand Army during its disastrous retreat from Moscow in the harsh Russian winter.
Nikolai becomes worried about his family's finances, and leaves the army after hearing of Petra's death. As the novel draws to a close, Pierre's wife Helene dies from an overdose of an abortifacient (Tolstoy does not state it explicitly but the euphemism he uses is unambiguous).
Count Rostov dies soon after, leaving his eldest son Nikolai to take charge of the debt-ridden estate. Nikolai and Maria then move to Bald Hills with his mother and Sonya, whom he supports for the rest of their lives.
There is a hint in the closing chapters that the idealistic, boyish Nicoletta and Pierre would both become part of the Decembers Uprising. The first epilogue concludes with Nicoletta promising he would do something with which even his late father “would be satisfied” (presumably as a revolutionary in the Decembers revolt).
He then goes on to argue that these smaller events are the result of an inverse relationship between necessity and free-will, necessity being based on reason and therefore explicable through historical analysis, and free-will being based on “consciousness” and therefore inherently unpredictable. The novel that made its author “the true lion of the Russian literature (according to Ivan Goncharov) enjoyed great success with the reading public upon its publication and spawned dozens of reviews and analytical essays, some of which (by Dmitry Pisa rev, Pavel Cerenkov, Dragomirov and Strabo) formed the basis for the research of later Tolstoy scholars.
Yet the Russian press's initial response to the novel was muted, with most critics unable to decide how to classify it. Writer and critic Nikolai Akhsharumov, writing in Vsemirny True (#6, 1867) suggested that War and Peace was “neither a chronicle, nor a historical novel”, but a genre merger, this ambiguity never undermining its immense value.
“The cultural history of one large section of our society, the political and social panorama of it in the beginning of the current century”, was his suggestion. “It is the epic, the history novel and the vast picture of the whole nation's life”, wrote Ivan Turgenev in his bid to define War and Peace in the foreword for his French translation of “The Two Hussars” (published in Paris by Le Temps in 1875).
They saw its major fault as the “author's inability to portray a new kind of revolutionary intelligentsia in his novel”, as critic Bartolome Cayuse put it. Articles by D. Minaret, Vasily Bervi-Flerovsky and N. Shelgunov in Demo magazine characterized the novel as “lacking realism”, showing its characters as “cruel and rough”, “mentally stoned”, “morally depraved” and promoting “the philosophy of stagnation”.
Dmitry Pisa rev in his unfinished article “Russian Gentry of Old” (Stroke barstool, Otechestvennye Papist, #2, 1868), while praising Tolstoy's realism in portraying members of high society, was still unhappy with the way the author, as he saw it, 'idealized' the old nobility, expressing “unconscious and quite natural tenderness towards” the Russian dvoryanstvo. On the opposite front, the conservative press and “patriotic” authors (A. S. North and P. A. Vyazemsky among them) were accusing Tolstoy of consciously distorting 1812 history, desecrating the “patriotic feelings of our fathers” and ridiculing dvoryanstvo.
One of the first comprehensive articles on the novel was that of Pavel Cerenkov, published in #2, 1868 issue of Vesting Europe. The critic praised Tolstoy's masterful portrayal of man at war, marveled at the complexity of the whole composition, organically merging historical facts and fiction.
“The dazzling side of the novel”, according to Cerenkov, was “the natural simplicity with which transports the worldly affairs and big social events down to the level of a character who witnesses them.” Anne thought the historical gallery of the novel was incomplete with the two “great raznotchintsys “, Kerensky and Arachne, and deplored the fact that the author stopped at introducing to the novel “this relatively rough but original element”.
In the end the critic called the novel “the whole epoch in the Russian fiction”. Halophiles declared Tolstoy their boater and pronounced War and Peace “the Bible of the new national idea”.
Several articles on War and Peace were published in 1869–70 in Zara magazine by Nikolai Strabo. “ War and Peace is the work of genius, equal to everything that the Russian literature has produced before”, he pronounced in the first, smaller essay.
“It is now quite clear that from 1868 when the War and Peace was published the very essence of what we call Russian literature has become quite different, acquired the new form and meaning”, the critic continued later. Strabo was the first critic in Russia who declared Tolstoy's novel to be a masterpiece of level previously unknown in Russian literature.
Still, being a true Halophile, he could not fail to see the novel as promoting the major Slavophiliac ideas of “meek Russian character's supremacy over the rapacious European kind” (using Apollo Grigoriev's formula). N. Machine, a member of the Russia Invalid newspaper staff (#69, April 10, 1868) called the Battle of Schöngrabern scenes “bearing the highest degree of historical and artistic truthfulness” and totally agreed with the author's view on the Battle of Borodin, which some of his opponents disputed.
The army general and respected military writer Mikhail Dragomirov, in an article published in Oruzheiny Born (The Military Almanac, 1868–70), while disputing some of Tolstoy's ideas concerning the “spontaneity” of wars and the role of commander in battles, advised all the Russian Army officers to use War and Peace as their desk book, describing its battle scenes as “incomparable” and “serving for an ideal manual to every textbook on theories of military art.” Unlike professional literary critics, most prominent Russian writers of the time supported the novel wholeheartedly.
Goncharov, Turgenev, Lesson, Dostoevsky and FET have all gone on record as declaring War and Peace the masterpiece of the Russian literature. Ivan Goncharov in a July 17, 1878, letter to Pyotr Garden advised him to choose for translating into Danish War and Peace, adding: “This is positively what might be called a Russian Iliad.
In 1879, unhappy with Garden having chosen Anna Karenina to start with, Goncharov insisted: War and Peace is the extraordinary poem of a novel, both in content and execution. It also serves as a monument to Russian history's glorious epoch when whatever figure you take is a colossus, a statue in bronze.
Even minor characters carry all the characteristic features of the Russian people and its life.” In 1885, expressing satisfaction with the fact that Tolstoy's works had by then been translated into Danish, Goncharov again stressed the immense importance of War and Peace.
Floor Dostoevsky (in a May 30, 1871, letter to Strabo) described War and Peace as “the last word of the landlord's literature and the brilliant one at that”. In a draft version of The Raw Youth he described Tolstoy as “a historiography of the dvoryanstvo, or rather, its cultural elite”.
Nikolai Lesson, then an anonymous reviewer in Birthday Vesting (The Stock Exchange Herald), wrote several articles praising highly War and Peace, calling it “the best ever Russian historical novel” and “the pride of the contemporary literature”. Marveling at the realism and factual truthfulness of Tolstoy's book, Lesson thought the author deserved the special credit for “having lifted the people's spirit upon the high pedestal it deserved”.
“While working most elaborately upon individual characters, the author, apparently, has been studying most diligently the character of the nation as a whole; the life of people whose moral strength came to be concentrated in the Army that came up to fight mighty Napoleon. In this respect the novel of Count Tolstoy could be seen as an epic of the Great national war which up until now has had its historians but never had its singers”, Lesson wrote.
Fantasy FET, in a January 1, 1870, letter to Tolstoy, expressed his great delight with the novel. Ivan Turgenev gradually re-considered his initial skepticism as to the novel's historical aspect and also the style of Tolstoy's psychological analysis.
In his 1880 article written in the form of a letter addressed to Edmond About, the editor of the French newspaper Le XIX e Since, Turgenev described Tolstoy as “the most popular Russian writer” and War and Peace as “one of the most remarkable books of our age”. “This vast work has the spirit of an epic, where the life of Russia of the beginning of our century in general and in details has been recreated by the hand of a true master ...
It was largely due to Turgenev's efforts that the novel started to gain popularity with the European readership. The first French edition of the War and Peace (1879) paved the way for the worldwide success of Leo Tolstoy and his works.
Tolstoy “gives us a unique combination of the 'naive objectivity' of the oral narrator with the interest in detail characteristic of realism. The translators Constance Garrett and Louise and Aylmer Maude knew Tolstoy personally.
On the Garrett translation Pavlovskis-Petit writes: “her ... War and Peace is frequently inexact and contains too many anglicisms. Other lead characters were played by Rupert Davies, Faith Brook, Moral Hood, Alan Dogie, Angela Down and Sylvester Moran.
War and Peace (2007): produced by the Italian Lux Vide, a TV mini-series in Russian & English co-produced in Russia, France, Germany, Poland and Italy. Directed by Robert Bornholm, with screenplay written by Lorenzo Novella, Enrico Medial and Gavin Scott.
It features an international cast with Alexander Beyer playing the lead role of Pierre assisted by Malcolm McDowell, Clémence Poesy, Alessio Bond, Polar Bella, J. IMO Areas, Ken Duke, Juozapas Bag donas and Toni Bernoulli. On 8 December 2015, Russian state television channel Russia-K began a four-day broadcast of a reading of the novel, one volume per day, involving 1,300 readers in over 30 cities.
The first successful stage adaptations of War and Peace were produced by Alfred Neumann and Erwin Picador (1942, revised 1955, published by Mac gibbon & See in London 1963, and staged in 16 countries since) and R. Lucas (1943). A stage adaptation by Helen Edmundson, first produced in 1996 at the Royal National Theater with Richard Hope as Pierre and Anne-Marie Duff as Natasha, was published that year by Nick Her Books, London.
Edmundson added to and amended the play for a 2008 production as two 3-hour parts by Shared Experience, again directed by Nancy Heckler and Polly Tale. This was first put on at the Nottingham Playhouse, then toured in the UK to Liverpool, Darlington, Bath, Warwick, Oxford, Tour, London (the Hempstead Theater) and Cheltenham.
A musical adaptation by OBOE Award -winner Dave Malloy, called Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 premiered at the Ar's Nova theater in Manhattan on October 1, 2012. The show is described as an electronic opera, and is based on Book 8 of War and Peace, focusing on Natasha's affair with Anatole.
The show opened on Broadway in the fall of 2016, starring Josh Groan as Pierre and Dense Benton as Natasha. The BBC Home Service broadcast an eight-part adaptation by Walter Peacock from 17 January to 7 February 1943 with two episodes on each Sunday.
A dramatized full-cast adaptation in 20 parts, edited by Michael Bake well, was broadcast by the BBC between 30 December 1969 and 12 May 1970, with a cast including David Buck, Kate Bunchy and Martin Jarvis. A dramatized full-cast adaptation in ten parts was written by Marcy Khan and Mike Walker in 1997 for BBC Radio 4.
It was directed by Janet Whitaker and featured Simon Russell Beale, Gerard Murphy, Richard Johnson, and others. The dramatization, by playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker, was directed by Celia de Wolff and starred Paterson Joseph and John Hurt.
It was accompanied by a Tweet along: live tweets throughout the day that offered a playful companion to the book and included plot summaries and entertaining commentary. The Twitter feed also shared maps, family trees and battle plans.
“Quietism from the Side of Happiness: Tolstoy, Schopenhauer, War and Peace ". Catherine the Great and the French philosophers of the Enlightenment: Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot and Grim.