War and Peace, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" is a sprawling epic covering the impact of Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia on five different families.

This "Penguin Classics" edition is translated with an introduction and notes by Anthony Briggs, with an afterword by Orlando Figes, author of "A People's Tragedy: Russian Revolution 1891-1924".

At a glittering society party in St Petersburg in 1805, conversations are dominated by the prospect of war.

Terror swiftly engulfs the country as Napoleon's army marches on Russia, and the lives of three young people are changed forever.

The stories of quixotic Pierre, cynical Andrey and impetuous Natasha interweave with a huge cast, from aristocrats and peasants to soldiers and Napoleon himself.

In "War and Peace", Tolstoy entwines grand themes - conflict and love, birth and death, free will and faith - with unforgettable scenes of nineteenth-century Russia, to create a magnificent epic of human life in all its imperfection and grandeur.

Anthony Briggs' superb translation combines stirring, accessible prose with fidelity to Tolstoy's original, while Orlando Figes' afterword discusses the novel's vast scope and depiction of Russian identity. This edition also contains appendices, notes, a list of prominent characters and maps.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was born at Yasnaya Polyana, in central Russia.

After marrying Sofya Behrs in 1862, Tolstoy settled down, managing his estates and writing two of his best-known novels, "War and Peace" (1869) and "Anna Karenina" (1878).

In 1884 Tolstoy experienced a spiritual crisis, becoming an extreme moralist, rejecting the state, the church and private property.

His last novel, "Resurrection" (1900), was written to raise money for the Doukhobor sect of Christian spiritualists.

If you enjoyed "War and Peace", you might also like Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov". "A masterpiece...This new translation is excellent". (Anthony Beevor). "A book that you don't just read, you live". (Simon Schama).


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 1440 pages, maps
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780140447934



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If you need confirmation from me, take it: War and Peace's reputation as one of the best books ever written is well deserved. As well as the empathic and imaginative genius of its author, and the boldness with which he stated its theme and stuck to it, I was particularly astonished by how easy Tolstoy made this book to read. It’s a page-turner – and there isn’t a chapter in it that’s longer than five. You’re sucked in before you know it and the only reason to pause is if your eyes or arms get tired.I’m serious: War and Peace is /fast/. As long as you don’t include all the years of telling myself I’d get around to it, the time it took me to read was negligible. If you’re putting it off too, stop. War and Peace is one of the greatest reading experiences of my entire life. I would recommend it to /everybody/.

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