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The world as a whole has not been at peace since , and is not at inter- state wars have also disappeared from Europe, which had until.
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The war or series of connected wars began in , when the Austrian Habsburgs tried to impose Roman Catholicism on their Protestant subjects in Bohemia. It pitted Protestant against Catholic, the Holy Roman Empire against France, the German princes and princelings against the emperor and each other, and France against the Habsburgs of Spain. Commercial interests and rivalries played a part, as did religion and power politics.

Gustavus Adolphus was shot in the head and killed at the battle of Lutzen in The increasingly crazed Wallenstein, who grew so sensitive to noise that he had all the dogs, cats and cockerels killed in every town he came to, was murdered by an English captain in Still the fighting went on. The war was largely fought on German soil and reduced the country to desolation as hordes of mercenaries, left unpaid by their masters, lived off the land. Rapine, pillage and famine stalked the countryside as armies marched about, plundering towns, villages and farms as they went.

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Many people say that there is no God The horror became a way of life and when the war finally ended, the mercenaries and their womenfolk complained that their livelihood was gone. He is reunited with Natasha and his sister Maria before the end of the war. Having lost all will to live, he forgives Natasha in a last act before dying. Pierre is reunited with Natasha, while the victorious Russians rebuild Moscow. Natasha speaks of Prince Andrei's death and Pierre of Karataev's.

Both are aware of a growing bond between them in their bereavement. With the help of Princess Maria, Pierre finds love at last and marries Natasha. The first part of the epilogue begins with the wedding of Pierre and Natasha in Count Rostov dies soon after, leaving his eldest son Nikolai to take charge of the debt-ridden estate.

Nikolai finds himself with the task of maintaining the family on the verge of bankruptcy. His abhorrence at the idea of marrying for wealth almost gets in his way, but finally he marries the now-rich Maria Bolkonskaya and in so doing saves his family from financial ruin though manages to do so without selling any of his wife's property. Nikolai and Maria then move to Bald Hills with his mother and Sonya, whom he supports for the rest of their lives. As in all good marriages, there are misunderstandings, but the couples—Pierre and Natasha, Nikolai and Maria—remain devoted to their spouses.

Pierre and Natasha visit Bald Hills in There is a hint in the closing chapters that the idealistic, boyish Nikolenka and Pierre would both become part of the Decembrist Uprising. The first epilogue concludes with Nikolenka promising he would do something with which even his late father "would be satisfied" presumably as a revolutionary in the Decembrist revolt. The second part of the epilogue contains Tolstoy's critique of all existing forms of mainstream history.

The 19th-century Great Man Theory claims that historical events are the result of the actions of "heroes" and other great individuals; Tolstoy argues that this is impossible because of how rarely these actions result in great historical events. Rather, he argues, great historical events are the result of many smaller events driven by the thousands of individuals involved he compares this to calculus, and the sum of infinitesimals.

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 explainable by 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 [18] [19] enjoyed great success with the reading public upon its publication and spawned dozens of reviews and analytical essays, some of which by Dmitry Pisarev , Pavel Annenkov , Dragomirov and Strakhov formed the basis for the research of later Tolstoy scholars.

The liberal newspaper Golos The Voice, April 3, 93, was one of the first to react. Its anonymous reviewer posed a question later repeated by many others: "What could this possibly be? What kind of genre are we supposed to file it to?.. Where is fiction in it, and where is real history? Writer and critic Nikolai Akhsharumov, writing in Vsemirny Trud 6, suggested that War and Peace was "neither a chronicle, nor a historical novel", but a genre merger, this ambiguity never undermining its immense value. Annenkov, who praised the novel too, was equally vague when trying to classify it.

In general, the literary left received the novel coldly. They saw it as devoid of social critique, and keen on the idea of national unity. They saw its major fault as the "author's inability to portray a new kind of revolutionary intelligentsia in his novel", as critic Varfolomey Zaytsev put it. Shelgunov in Delo magazine characterized the novel as "lacking realism", showing its characters as "cruel and rough", "mentally stoned", "morally depraved" and promoting "the philosophy of stagnation".

Still, Mikhail Saltykov-Schedrin , who never expressed his opinion of the novel publicly, in private conversation was reported to have expressed delight with "how strongly this Count has stung our higher society". On the opposite front, the conservative press and "patriotic" authors A. Norov and P. Vyazemsky among them were accusing Tolstoy of consciously distorting history, desecrating the "patriotic feelings of our fathers" and ridiculing dvoryanstvo. One of the first comprehensive articles on the novel was that of Pavel Annenkov, published in 2, issue of Vestnik Evropy.

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. In the end the critic called the novel "the whole epoch in the Russian fiction". Slavophiles declared Tolstoy their " bogatyr " and pronounced War and Peace "the Bible of the new national idea".


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Strakhov 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 Slavophile , 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 Apollon Grigoriev 's formula. Years later, in , discussing Strakhov's own book The World as a Whole , Tolstoy criticized both Grigoriev's concept of "Russian meekness vs.


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  6. Western bestiality" and Strakhov's interpretation of it. Among the reviewers were military men and authors specializing in the war literature.

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    Most assessed highly the artfulness and realism of Tolstoy's battle scenes. The army general and respected military writer Mikhail Dragomirov , in an article published in Oruzheiny Sbornik The Military Almanac , —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.


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    Goncharov, Turgenev, Leskov, Dostoyevsky and Fet have all gone on record as declaring War and Peace the masterpiece of the Russian literature. Ivan Goncharov in a July 17, letter to Pyotr Ganzen advised him to choose for translating into Danish War and Peace , adding: "This is positively what might be called a Russian Iliad.

    Embracing the whole epoch, it is the grandiose literary event, showcasing the gallery of great men painted by a lively brush of the great master This is one of the most, if not the most profound literary work ever". 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 [the novel's] minor characters carry all the characteristic features of the Russian people and its life.

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky in a May 30, letter to Strakhov 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 historiograph of the dvoryanstvo , or rather, its cultural elite". Nikolai Leskov , then an anonymous reviewer in Birzhevy Vestnik 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, Leskov thought the author deserved the special credit for "having lifted up the people's spirit upon the high pedestal it deserved". 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", Leskov wrote.

    Afanasy Fet , in a January 1, letter to Tolstoy, expressed his great delight with the novel. The manner in which Count Tolstoy conducts his treatise is innovative and original. The first French edition of the War and Peace paved the way for the worldwide success of Leo Tolstoy and his works. Since then many world-famous authors have praised War and Peace as a masterpiece of the world literature. Gustave Flaubert expressed his delight in a January letter to Turgenev, writing: "This is the first class work! What an artist and what a psychologist!

    The first two volumes are exquisite. I used to utter shrieks of delight while reading. This is powerful, very powerful indeed. Romain Rolland , remembering his reading the novel as a student, wrote: "this work, like life itself, has no beginning, no end. It is life itself in its eternal movement. Isaak Babel said, after reading War and Peace , "If the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy.

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    This is the reason for our trust in his presentation. War and Peace is one of Five Books most recommended books with philosophers, literary scholars, novelists and historians citing it as a influential text. War and Peace has been translated into many languages. It has been translated into English on several occasions, starting with Clara Bell working from a French translation.

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    Only about 2 percent of War and Peace is in French; Tolstoy removed the French in a revised edition, only to restore it later. In the Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English , academic Zoja Pavlovskis-Petit has this to say about the translations of War and Peace available in "Of all the translations of War and Peace , Dunnigan's is the best. Unlike the other translators, Dunnigan even succeeds with many characteristically Russian folk expressions and proverbs. She is faithful to the text and does not hesitate to render conscientiously those details that the uninitiated may find bewildering: for instance, the statement that Boris's mother pronounced his name with a stress on the o — an indication to the Russian reader of the old lady's affectation.

    On the Garnett translation Pavlovskis-Petit writes: "her War and Peace is frequently inexact and contains too many anglicisms.

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