War and Peace is considered one of the world’s greatest works of fiction. It is regarded, along with Anna Karenina, as Tolstoy’s finest literary achievement.
Epic in scale, War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families.
Portions of an earlier version having been serialized in the magazine The Russian Messenger between 1865 and 1867, the novel was first published in its entirety in 1869. Tolstoy himself, somewhat enigmatically, said of War and Peace that it was “not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less an historical chronicle.”