War and Peace (Penguin Classics)

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9780140444179: War and Peace (Penguin Classics)

Few would dispute the claim of "War and Peace" to be regarded as the greatest novel in any language. This massive chronicle, to which Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) devoted five whole years shortly after his marriage, portrays Russian family life during and after the Napoleonic war. Tolstoy's faith in life and his piercing insight lend universality to a work which holds the mirror up to nature as truly as those of Shakespeare or Homer.

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About the Author:

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 at Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, and educated privately. He studied Oriental languages and law at the University of Kazan, then led a life of pleasure until 1851 when he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus. He took part in the Crimean War and after the defence of Sebastopol he wrote The Sebastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his reputation. After a period in St Petersburg and abroad, where he studied educational methods for use in his school for peasant children in Yasnaya Polyana, he married Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862. The next fifteen years was a period of great happiness; they had thirteen children, and Tolstoy managed his vast estates in the Volga Steppes, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). A Confession (1879-82) marked a spiritual crisis in his life; he became an extreme moralist and in a series of pamphlets after 1880 expressed his rejection of state and church, indictment of the weaknesses of the flesh and denunciation of private property. His teaching earned him numerous followers at home and abroad, but also much opposition, and in 1901 he was excommuincated by the Russian Holy Synod. He died in 1910, in the course of a dramamtic flight from home, at the small railway station of Astapovo.

About the Author:

Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born in 1828. He wrote THE SEBASTOPOL SKETCHES in 1855-6, WAR AND PEACE in 1865-8, ANNA KARENINA in 1874-6 and A CONFESSION in 1879-82. He died in 1910. Translated by Rosemary Edmonds

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