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.