Tolstoy also said that the best Russian literature does not conform to standards and hence hesitated to call War and Peace a novel.Instead, he regarded Anna Karenina as his first true novel.Tolstoy was critical of standard history, especially military history, in War and Peace.Tags: Cloning EssayLibrary Based DissertationDiet Essay TopicsThesis Child Themes Real EstateEssays About Cry The Beloved CountryAndreyeva Eerc ThesisHow To Write An Argument Research Paper
The first half of the book was written under the name "1805".
During the writing of the second half, he read widely and acknowledged Schopenhauer as one of his main inspirations.
It could, however, also simply represent another element of the realistic style in which the book is written, since French was the common language of the Russian aristocracy at the time.
In fact, the Russian nobility often knew only enough Russian to command their servants; Tolstoy illustrates this by showing that Julie Karagina, a character in the novel, is so unfamiliar with her country's native language that she has to take Russian lessons.
The novel chronicles the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society through the stories of five Russian aristocratic families.
Portions of an earlier version, titled The Year 1805, Tolstoy said War and Peace is "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle." Large sections, especially the later chapters, are philosophical discussion rather than narrative.
Key historical events woven into the novel include the Ulm Campaign, the Battle of Austerlitz, the Treaties of Tilsit, and the Congress of Erfurt.
Tolstoy also references the Great Comet of 1811 just before the French invasion of Russia.
He read all the standard histories available in Russian and French about the Napoleonic Wars and had read letters, journals, autobiographies and biographies of Napoleon and other key players of that era.
There are approximately 160 real persons named or referred to in War and Peace.