'A book that you don't just read, you live' Simon Schama
Tolstoy's magnificent epic begins at a glittering society party in St Petersburg in 1805, where 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 a novel of conflict and love, birth and death, free will and fate, and human life in all its imperfection and grandeur.
Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Anthony Briggs with an Afterword by Orlando Figes
A masterpiece ... this new translation is excellent
War and Peace is like no other novel ... Tolstoy writes of both war and peace more marvellously than anyone else has done
From Dostoevsky to Nabokov and beyond, Russia’s cultural capital has long been a literary haven. Here are five crucial books to read before you visit.