War and Peace: Original Version [NOOK Book]

Overview

An alternative version – the one Tolstoy originally intended, but has been hitherto unpublished – of Russia’s most famous novel; with a different ending, fewer digressions and an altered view of Napoleon – it’s time to look afresh at one of the world’s favourite books.‘War and Peace’ is a masterpiece – a panoramic portrait of Russian society and its descent into the Napoleonic Wars which for over a century has inspired reverential devotion among its readers.This version is certain to provoke controversy and ...
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War and Peace: Original Version

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Overview

An alternative version – the one Tolstoy originally intended, but has been hitherto unpublished – of Russia’s most famous novel; with a different ending, fewer digressions and an altered view of Napoleon – it’s time to look afresh at one of the world’s favourite books.‘War and Peace’ is a masterpiece – a panoramic portrait of Russian society and its descent into the Napoleonic Wars which for over a century has inspired reverential devotion among its readers.This version is certain to provoke controversy and devotion in equal measures. A ‘first draft’ of the epic version known to all, it was completed in 1866 but never published. A closely guarded secret for a century and a half, the unveiling of the original version of ‘War and Peace’, with an ending different to that we all know, is of huge significance to students of Tolstoy. But it is also sure to prove fascinating to the general reader who will find it an invigorating and absorbing read. Free of the solemn philosophical wanderings, the drama and tragedy of this sweeping tale is reinforced. His characters remain central throughout, emphasising their own personal journeys, their loves and passions, their successes and failures and their own personal tragedies.500 pages shorter, this is historical fiction at its most vivid and vital, and readers will marvel anew at Tolstoy’s unique ability to conjure the lives and souls of Russia and the Russians in all their glory. For devotees who long for more, for those who struggled and didn’t quite make it to the end, or for those who have always wanted to know what all the fuss is about, this is essential reading.

An epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780007396993
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/7/2010
  • Sold by: Harper Collins UK
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: ePub edition
  • Pages: 1024
  • Sales rank: 264,013
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 in Tula, near Moscow. His parents, who both died when he was young, belonged to the Russian nobility, and to the end of his life Tolstoy remained conscious of his aristocratic status. His novels, ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Anna Karenina’ are literary classics and he is revered as one of the greatest writers of the nineteenth century. He died in 1910 at the age of 82.


Biography

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, where he spent most of his early years, together with his several brothers. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851.

He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before traveling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879–82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home "leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude;" he died some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books LTD.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 9, 1828
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tula Province, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      November 20, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Astapovo, Russia

Read an Excerpt

War and Peace
Original Version

Chapter One

"Eh bien, mon prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now merely estates, the private estates of the Buonaparte family. Non, I warn you, if you don't say this means war, if you still defend all these vile acts, all these atrocities by an Antichrist (for I really do believe he is the Antichrist), then I no longer know you, you are no longer mon ami, you are no longer, as you put it, my devoted slave. But, anyway, how do you do, how are you? I see I am frightening you, do come and sit down and tell me what's going on." These were the words with which, in July 1805, the renowned Anna Pavlovna Scherer, lady-in-waiting and confidante of the Empress Maria Fedorovna, greeted the influential and high-ranking Prince Vasily, who was the first to arrive at her soirée. Anna Pavlovna had been coughing for several days, and had what she called the grippe (grippe then being a new word, used only by the few), and therefore had not attended at court nor even left the house. All of the notes she had sent out in the morning with a scarlet-liveried servant had contained the same message, without variation:

If, Count (or Prince), you have nothing better to do, and the prospect of an evening in the company of a poor invalid is not too alarming, then I should be delighted to see you at home between seven and ten o'clock.
Annette Scherer.


"Dieu, what a fierce attack!" replied the prince with a faint smile, not in the least perturbed by this reception as he entered, wearing his embroidered court dress-coat, with knee-breeches, low shoes andstarry decorations, and a serene expression on his cunning face.

He spoke that refined French in which our grandfathers not only spoke, but also thought, and with the gently modulated, patronising intonation that was natural to a man of consequence who had grown old in society and at court. He went up to Anna Pavlovna and kissed her hand, presenting to her the bald, perfumed top of his head, which gleamed white even between the grey hairs, then he calmly seated himself on the divan.

"First of all, tell me how you are feeling, ma chère amie? Do set your friend's mind at rest," he said, without changing his tone of voice, in which, beneath the decorum and sympathy, there was a hint of indifference and even mockery.

"How can you expect me to feel well, when one is suffering so, morally speaking? How can anyone with feeling stay calm in times like these?" said Anna Pavlovna. "You are here for the whole evening, I hope?"

"But what about the festivities at the English ambassador's? Today is Wednesday. I really do have to show my face," said the prince. "My daughter will be calling to take me there."

"I thought today's celebrations had been cancelled. I do declare all these fêtes and fireworks are becoming an utter bore."

"Had they but known you wished it, they would have cancelled the celebrations," said the prince by force of habit, like a wound-up clock, voicing things that he did not even wish to be believed.

"Don't tease me. Eh bien, what has been decided following this dispatch from Novosiltsev? You know everything."

"What can I say?" the prince said in a cold, bored voice. "What has been decided? It has been decided that Buonaparte has burnt his boats, and we are apparently prepared to burn ours too."

Whether Prince Vasily's words were wise or foolish, animated or indifferent, he uttered them in a tone that suggested he was repeating them for the thousandth time, like an actor speaking a part in an old play, as though the words were not the product of his reason, not spoken from the mind or heart, but by rote, with his lips alone.

By contrast, Anna Pavlovna Scherer, despite her forty years, was full of an impulsive vivacity which long practice had scarcely taught her to curb within the limits of courtly decorum and discretion. At every moment she seemed on the point of uttering something improper, yet although she came within a hair's breadth, no impropriety ever burst forth. She was not good-looking, but the rapturous enthusiasm of which she herself was aware in her glance and in the vivacity of her smile, which expressed her infatuation with ideal causes, evidently furnished her with that quality which was called interesting. From Prince Vasily's words and his expression it was clear that the circles in which they both moved had long ago adopted the unanimous opinion that Anna Pavlovna was a sweet, good-hearted enthusiast and patriot who dabbled in matters that were not entirely her concern and often took things to extremes, but was lovable for the sincerity and ardour of her feelings. Being an enthusiast had become her position in society, and sometimes, even when she did not really wish it, she played the enthusiast simply in order not to disappoint the expectations of those who knew her. The restrained smile that played constantly on Anna Pavlovna's face, although it did not become her faded features, was an expression, as it is in spoilt children, of a constant awareness of her own charming defect, of which she neither wished, nor was able, nor felt it necessary, to rid herself.

The contents of the dispatch from Novosiltsev, who had set out to Paris for peace negotiations, were as follows.

On arriving in Berlin, Novosiltsev had learned that Bonaparte had issued a decree annexing the Genoese Republic to the French Empire, while at the same time he was declaring his desire for reconciliation with England through the mediation of Russia. Novosiltsev, having halted in Berlin on the surmise that such coercive action on the part of Bonaparte might well alter the Emperor's intentions, had requested His Majesty's decision on whether he should move on to Paris or return home. The reply to Novosiltsev . . .

War and Peace
Original Version
. Copyright © by Leo Tolstoy. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy’s genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle—all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual’s place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as the Iliad: “To read him . . . is to find one’s way home . . . to everything within us that is fundamental and sane.”
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 467 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(239)

4 Star

(75)

3 Star

(44)

2 Star

(41)

1 Star

(68)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 470 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 3, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended!!!

    War and Peace is a classic that should not be missed by anyone. Leo Tolstoy is a master story teller.

    The formatting of this ebook was masterful as well. Very professional and no errors. Worth every penny.

    195 out of 197 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    Warning to Nook users!

    The free eBook version of War and Peace is part III of a multi-volume set. Barnes and Noble does not indicate this, and there is no way to find the other volumes in the set. If really want to read War and Peace on your Nook, go for one of the eBooks that is not free, or use another web site to get a full copy of the free version.

    My apologies to everyone reading this "review" in other editions of the book - B&N doesn't separate reviews by edition. I'm only talking about the free eBook edition translated by Leo Weiner. And I hope that in the future B&N will correctly label it as "War and Peace - Volume III".

    45 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2009

    this is not the Pevear translation

    The $2.99 ebook is not the Pevear translation and inaccurately reflects an excerpt for that version of the text. The downloaded text in the $2.99 version is highly abridged. Buyer beware!

    31 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2010

    WAR AND PEACE

    This is an awesome book and you must take great care to ensure you are getting a copy that suits your requirements. Look for a quality translation - Prevear should do it for most people. I have tried several of the free downloads of this book for my nook and they are quite unreadable. The amount of spelling mistakes is unbelievable - do this book the justice it deserves and treat yourself to a good copy!

    21 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2005

    Best book I've ever read.

    And I have read many! When I 'had' to read this book in college it changed my life. While it never preaches, or really makes it clear what 'side' the author takes, somehow it made God's character real to me. That God is love. And, that without love we are nothing. Also, it was amazing to me that I could read a 1000 page Russian novel and never get bored. This is a beautiful book that showed me that God loves a broken and sinful mankind and that He can be found in spite of the ugliness of our own hearts.

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2005

    War and Peace

    WAR AND PEACE successfully captured life's promises, challenges, joys, triumphs, and losses in a way that no other novels has done before and after. In this novel with more characters than any other I can imagine the main characters are Pierre Bezuhov, Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, and Natasha Rostov, who are all affected by the destabilization of the war Napoleon brought upon Russia in the early nineteenth century. It is around them that the other characters revolve. Even though the sheer size of this novel of over a million words may discourage readers to pick it up, the consuming nature of the story keeps a reader glued to the book from the opening pages. The sheer power of this romantic and adventurous story made this classic story to survive as perhaps the best of all times.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2010

    NOT the full version

    This is not the full version of the book. It's only an excerpt. :-(

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

    for the free ebook and bn's ereader for mac

    the free version of war and peace is only an excerpt and starts from part nine. also the ereader that barnes and noble has available for download doesnt even work. i went to adobe and downloaded their epub reader which worked fine.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    A classic of unmatched caliber not well honored in this particular translation.

    I purchased this particular paperback translation by Pat Conroy because I was looking for a lightweight version of War and Peace that I could re-read en route to and from work on public transportation. I was preparing for a trip to Russia and "getting in the mood." While the book served that purpose, for me, the purchase was a mistake. The print was too small and hard to read, and the translation was not particularly scholarly. Much of the text was in the original French, which, although not unusual in many Tolstoy translations, I found distracting because it tested my French fluency rather than adding to the continuity of the text. Unless you are reasonably fluent in French, I recommend reading another translation. My experience here reminds me that you get what you pay for. For about $10, I bought an inexpensive, lightweight, paperback volume of less than stellar quality that I did not enjoy and stopped reading. Tolstoy deserves far better treatment. Next time, I will go with the salesperson's highly recommended translation, despite its size and weight.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2001

    Tolstoi's 1500 Page Baby

    Anyone serious about getting to know this novel, fitted out in smart English duds by Louise and Aylmer Maude, will not hesitate to invest in the handsome three-volume edition so mercifully published by Everyman's Library, Knopf. All long novels should be brought out this way, in fact, as they normally were in an age unafraid of multiple tomes: in sensibly-sized and serviceable volumes, not so bloated that they will crush your chest in bed, print actually suited to normal eyes that do not require high-tech telescopes to decipher the text. All this said, Tolstoi's novel has the power to occasion some intriguing questions. Why does Prince Andrei love his wife so little, and Princess Lize her family so much? Is Pierre Bezukhov as obtuse as he seems? Does the author tell us the full story of Nicholas Bolkonsky's ill-treatment of his daughter, or is there an even more sinister tale, lurking behind the edge of every page? What will Natasha do when her serfs are one day freed, and was there a real-life prototype for the eerily emetic Helene? And who brewed all that borsch, fried all those bliny? Tolstoi himself, of course, foresaw all such questions, and would no doubt refer the reader to his various commentaries on the subject, which would seem to have dropped from his pen like so many fully-formed Baltic bonbons for our enjoyment. We may be turned off (or on!) by his theories of history, and especially by the near lunatic ravings which constitute the final epilogue. But it would not be possible to emerge unchanged from a summer spent reading this novel. Are not now our notions of Russia more spangled? Is not our approach to life now more brave? Though its title may make this book sound heavier and more indigestible than a granite gulag birthday cake, let us hasten to state that it is anything but.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    This is volume ll

    This is vol ll of 3

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2006

    So many translations-----so little time . . .

    This is not a ¿light and fun¿ book, the way some more modern pieces of literature come to mind (SLAUGHTER HOUSE FIVE by Vonnegut¿still a classic in its own way---and KATZENJAMMER by McCrae¿hilarious and unsettling at the same time), but it IS a great book¿freat piece of literature. New translations of War and Peace appear from time to time, each with its own virtues. Sometimes what one reader calls virtues, another finds to be deficiencies. The now-venerable Maude translation, in the splendid Norton Critical Edition, is sometimes majestic, always readable, and, most important, conveys to most minds the story Tolstoy told. The breathtaking, awe-inspiring power of Tolstoy's storytelling and his burning insights into the quandaries of the human condition are what is important about War and Peace. The Maudes' translation brings all this to life. Norton's editorial supplements help the newcomer to things Russian fight his/her way through the thicket of Russian names and mid-nineteenth-century literary mindset to get comfortable with Pierre, the Rostovs and the Bolkonskys. Once you get to know these unforgettable people, you are hooked for good. I have read this book many times in Russian and in the Maudes' translation. I always end by thanking Tolstoy for writing the best novel of them all, and the Maudes for their tireless work in translating it for those not fortunate enough to read it in the original.For lighter reads, try: KATZENJAMMER by McCrae or SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Kidd.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2012

    war and peace

    great!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    Unknown

    *spray paints on the walls*

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Read this if your awedom

    Your awesome if you read it

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Poorly formatted and with OCR errors!

    It is disappointing BN does not do a better job controling the quality of what gets published here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    burke,s review srcs

    i am in 7th grade. i am reading this for its 118 ar points. it is much harder than i thought, but i will read it cover to cover in one week and three days.( spring break)

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2005

    a masterpiece, but could have used some editing

    A great epic, unforgettable characters and melodrama. This is one of those classics you want to make sure you read in your lifetime, but probably once in a lifetime will be enough. It helps if you skip those chapters which are philosophical 'asides' and not part of the plot.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    War and Peace

    A finely written book; a classic that should should be read by all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Nook

    This is very amazing

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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