Books

War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy (and others)

Paterson Joseph, John Hurt, Lesley Manville and Harriet Walter are among the cast of BBC Radio 4's epic full-cast dramatisation. Adapted for radio by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Leo Tolstoy's epic story follows the fortunes of three Russian aristocratic families during the Napoleonic War. First broadcast on New Year's Day 2015, the drama also features Alun Armstrong, Natasha Little, David Calder, Phoebe Fox, Sam Reid and Joanna David. "Tolstoy’s imagined world is recreated on air brilliantly by the extraordinary cast" - The Spectator Duration: 10 hours approx.

War and Peace (Vintage Classic Russians Series)

Leo Tolstoy

THE ACCLAIMED TRANSLATION BY RICHARD PEVEAR AND LARISSA VOLOKHONSKY

'If you've never read it, now is the moment. This translation will show that you don't read War and Peace, you live it' The Times

From sophisticated Moscow soirees to breathless troika rides through the snow, from the bloody front line at Austerlitz to a wife’s death in childbirth, Tolstoy conjures a broad panorama of rich, messy, beautiful and debased human life. We follow the fates of open-hearted, impulsive Pierre Bezukhov, his melancholy friend Prince Andrei and the enchanting Natasha Rostov, as history and fiction are combined in one of the wisest and most enthralling novels ever written.

‘A joy to read… The sense of actually being in the skin of these people is phenomenally, brilliantly rendered by this translation’ Simon Schama


The Vintage Classic Russians Series: Published for the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, these are must-have, beautifully designed editions of six epic masterpieces that have survived controversy, censorship and suppression to influence decades of thought and artistic expression.

Anna Karenina (Vintage Classic Russians Series)

Leo Tolstoy

TRANSLATED BY LOUISE AND AYLMER MAUDE

Anna is a beautiful, intelligent woman whose passionate affair with the dashing Count Vronsky leads her to ruin. But her story is also about a search for meaning, and by twinning it with that of Levin, an awkward idealist whose happy marriage and domestic trials form the backdrop for a similar quest, Tolstoy creates a rich and complex masterpiece that has captured the imagination of readers for decades.

The Vintage Classic Russians Series: Published for the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, these are must-have, beautifully designed editions of six epic masterpieces that have survived controversy, censorship and suppression to influence decades of thought and artistic expression.

The Cossacks and Hadji Murat

Leo Tolstoy

'He said that Shamil had ordered Hadji Murat to be taken dead or alive....'

Two masterly Russian tales of freedom, fighting and great warriors in the majestic mountains of the Caucasus, inspired by Tolstoy's years as a soldier living amid the Cossack people.

A new series of twenty distinctive, unforgettable Penguin Classics in a beautiful new design and pocket-sized format, with coloured jackets echoing Penguin's original covers.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich

Leo Tolstoy

'It is only a bruise'

A carefree Russian official has what seems to be a trivial accident...

One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.

War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy

This is the official tie-in edition to the BBC adaptation of War and Peace with an exclusive introduction written by Andrew Davies.

Tolstoy’s beguiling masterpiece entwines love, death and determinism with Russia’s war with Napoleon and its effects on those swept up by the terror it brings. The lives of Pierre, Prince Andrei and Natasha are changed forever as conflict rages throughout the early nineteenth century. Following the rise and fall of some of society’s most influential families, this truthful and poignant epic is as relevant today as ever.

This six part adaptation has been written by Bafta-winning author Andrew Davies and will be directed by Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders, The Scouting Book for Boys, Woman in Black: Angel of Death). Accompanied by a stellar cast including Paul Dano (12 Years a Slave, Prisoners, There Will Be Blood) as the idealistic Pierre, James Norton (Happy Valley, Belle, Grantchester) as the ambitious Prince Andrei and Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) as the impulsive beauty Natasha. It also features the legendary Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter, Longford), Gillian Anderson (The Fall, The X-Files), Greta Scacchi (White Mischief, Presumed Innocent) and many more.

How Much Land Does A Man Need?

Leo Tolstoy

'Although he feared death, he could not stop. 'If I stopped now, after coming all this way - well, they'd call me an idiot!'

A pair of short stories about greed, charity, life and death from one of Russia's most influential writers and thinkers.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910). Tolstoy's works available in Penguin Classics are Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth,The Cossacks and Other Stories, The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories, What is art?, Resurrection, The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, Master and Man and Other Stories, How Much Land Does A Man Need? & Other Stories, A Confession and Other Religious Writings and Last steps: The Late Writings of Leo Tolstoy.

Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Leo Tolstoy (and others)

Leo Tolstoy began his trilogy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth, in his early twenties. Although he would in his old age famously dismiss it as an 'awkward mixture of fact and fiction', generations of readers have not agreed, finding the novel to be a charming and insightful portrait of inner growth against the background of a world limned with extraordinary clarity, grace and colour. Evident too in its brilliant account of a young person's emerging awareness of the world and of his place within it are many of the stances, techniques and themes that would come to full flower in the immortal War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and in the other great works of Tolstoy's maturity.

Stop What You’re Doing and Read…To Your Partner: Jane Eyre & Anna Karenina

Charlotte Brontë (and others)

To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books.

JANE EYRE
As an orphan, Jane's childhood is not an easy one but her independence and strength of character keep her going through the miseries inflicted by cruel relatives and a brutal school. However, her biggest challenge is yet to come. Taking a job as a governess in a house full of secrets, for a passionate man she grows more and more attracted to, ultimately forces Jane to call on all her resources in order to hold on to her beliefs.

ANNA KARENINA
Set against the backdrop of Russian high society, Tolstoy charts the course of the doomed love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer. Although she initially resists his charms Anna eventually succumbs, falling passionately in love and setting in motion a chain of events that lead to her downfall.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories

Leo Tolstoy (and others)

The title story of this collection is about a man battling a mysterious illness. His family visit his bedside, their faces masks of concern. His colleagues pay their respects but only think of the advantages created by his death. This intensely moving story of Ivan Ilyich's lonely end is one of the masterpieces of Tolstoy's late fiction.

The ten other stories in this new collection include 'The Kreutzer Sonata', 'The Devil', and 'Hadji Murat' which has been described by Harold Bloom as 'the best story in the world'.

Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy (and others)

Anna Karenina is a novel of unparalleled richness and complexity, set against the backdrop of Russian high society. Tolstoy charts the course of the doomed love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer who pursues Anna after becoming infatuated with her at a ball. Although she initially resists his charms Anna eventually succumbs, falling passionately in love and setting in motion a chain of events that lead to her downfall. In this extraordinary novel Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together the lives of dozens of characters, while evoking a love so strong that those who experience it are prepared to die for it.

Last Steps: The Late Writings of Leo Tolstoy

Jay Parini (and others)

1910. Anna Karenina and War and Peace have made Leo Tolstoy the world's most famous author. But fame comes at a price.

In the tumultuous final year of his life, Tolstoy is desperate to find respite, so leaves his large family and the hounding press behind and heads into the wilderness. Too ill to venture beyond the tiny station of Astapovo, he believes his last days will pass in isolation. But as we learn through the journals of those closest to him, the battle for Tolstoy's soul will not be a peaceful one.

Jay Parini introduces, translates and edits this collection of Tolstoy's autobiographical writing, diaries, and letters related to the last year of Tolstoy's life published to coincide with the 2009 film of
Parini's novel The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year.

Resurrection

Leo Tolstoy (and others)

Leo Tolstoy's last completed novel, Resurrection is an intimate, psychological tale of guilt, anger and forgiveness, translated from the Russian with an introduction and notes by Anthony Briggs in Penguin Classics.

Serving on the jury at a murder trial, Prince Dmitri Nekhlyudov is devastated when he sees the prisoner - Katyusha, a young maid he seduced and abandoned years before. As Dmitri faces the consequences of his actions, he decides to give up his life of wealth and luxury to devote himself to rescuing Katyusha, even if it means following her into exile in Siberia. But can a man truly find redemption by saving another person? Tolstoy's most controversial novel, Resurrection (1899) is a scathing indictment of injustice, corruption and hypocrisy at all levels of society. Creating a vast panorama of Russian life, from peasants to aristocrats, bureaucrats to convicts, it reveals Tolstoy's magnificent storytelling powers.

Anthony Briggs' superb new translation preserves Tolstoy's gripping realism and satirical humour. In his introduction, Briggs discusses the true story behind Resurrection, Tolstoy's political and religious reasons for writing the novel, his gift for characterization and the compelling psychological portrait of Dmitri. This edition also includes a chronology, notes and a summary of chapters.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) spent his youth in wasteful idleness until 1851, when he travelled to the Caucasus and joined the army with his older brother, fighting in the Crimean war. After marrying in 1862, Tolstoy settled down, managing his estates and writing two of his best-known novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1878). A Confession (1879-82) marked a spiritual crisis in his life, and in 1901 he was excommunicated by the Russian Holy Synod. He died in 1910, in the course of a dramatic flight from home, at the small railway station of Astapovo.

If you enjoyed Resurrection, you might like Ivan Goncharov's Oblomov, also available in Penguin Classics.

War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy (and others)

'If you've never read it, now is the moment. This translation will show that you don't read War and Peace, you live it' The Times

Tolstoy's enthralling epic depicts Russia's war with Napoleon and its effects on the lives of those caught up in the conflict. He creates some of the most vital and involving characters in literature as he follows the rise and fall of families in St Petersburg and Moscow who are linked by their personal and political relationships. His heroes are the thoughtful yet impulsive Pierre Bezukhov, his ambitious friend, Prince Andrei, and the woman who becomes indispensable to both of them, the enchanting Natasha Rostov.

War And Peace

Leo Tolstoy

At a glittering society party in St Petersburg in 1805, conversations are dominated by the prospect of war. Terros swiftly engulfs the country as Napoleon's army marches on Rusia, and the lives of three young people are changed for ever. 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 (1863-9), Tolstoy entwines grand themes - conflict and love, birth and death, free will and fate - with unforgettable scenes of nineteenth-century Russia, to create a magnificent epic of human life in all its imperfection and grandeur.

A Confession

Leo Tolstoy

Describing Tolstoy's crisis of depression and estrangement from the world, A Confession is an autobiographical work of exceptional emotional honesty. It describes his search for 'a practical religion not promising future bliss but giving bliss on earth'. Although the Confession led to his excommunication, it also resulted in a large following of Tolstoyan Christians springing up throughout Russia and Europe.

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives – and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories

Leo Tolstoy

This edition includes: The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Happy Ever After, and The Cossacks. Mortality was one of Tolstoy's most persistent themes, and all of the stories in this volume are connected by this preoccupation, along with the author's simultaneous attempt to help us improve our lives.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories

Leo Tolstoy (and others)

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories is a collection of stories that emerged from a profound spiritual crisis, during which Leo Tolstoy believed that he had encountered death itself. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with an introduction by Anthony Briggs, David McDuff and Ronald Wilks.

These seven compelling stories explore, in very different ways, Tolstoy's preoccupation with mortality. 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich' is a devastating account of a man fighting his inevitable end, and asks the existential question: why must a good person be taken before his time? In 'Polikushka', a light-fingered drunk's chance to prove himself has tragic repercussions, while 'Three Deaths' depicts the last moments of an aristocrat, a peasant and a tree, and 'The Forged Coupon' shows a seemingly minor offence that leads inexorably to ever more horrific crimes. And in three tales about soldiers, 'After the Ball', 'The Wood-felling' and 'The Raid', Tolstoy portrays the brutality that all too often accompanies military life.

The translations by Anthony Briggs, David McDuff and Ronald Wilks capture Tolstoy's powerful, vivid prose. This edition also includes a new introduction by Anthony Briggs discussing Tolstoy's breakdown and the effect this had on his writing, as well as a chronology, further reading and notes.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was born at Yasnaya Polyana, in central Russia. He led a life of wasteful idleness until 1851, when he travelled to the Caucasus and joined the army with his older brother, fighting in the Crimean war. 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 The Death of Ivan Ilyich, you might like Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, also available in Penguin Classics.

The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories

Leo Tolstoy (and others)

This volume includes Family Happiness; The Kreutzer Sonata; The Devil and Father Sergius. The four stories are all about love, but they take very different attitudes towards it. Tolstoy knows that jis readers have fallen in love and also, often, fallen out of it; they have wanted to kill their loved ones; they have lusted vigorously; or desperately sought the approval and even worship of others - Tolstoy depends on our own memories to entagle us in his tragic stories.

Biography

Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 in the Tula province. He studied at the University of Kazan, then led a life of pleasure until 1851 when he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus. He established his reputation as a writer with The Sebastopol Sketches (1855-6). After a period in St Petersburg and abroad, he married, had thirteen children, managed his vast estates in the Volga Steppes and wrote War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). A Confession (1879-82) marked a spiritual crisis in his life, and in 1901 he was excommuincated by the Russian Holy Synod. He died in 1910, in the course of a dramatic flight from home, at the railway station of Astapovo.