War and peace

Summary of "war and peace

War and Peace" was first published in four parts in moscow in 1868. in 1885 it could be read for the first time also in german translation. This novel tells the story of russia during the years from 1805 to 1812 in an exciting and impressive way and presents important historical figures such as napoleon or tsar alexander I. Coming back to life. The story is told almost exclusively from the point of view of russian noblemen, with several plot lines involving more than 250 people. The main characters, however, are the three russian noble families bolkonsky, besukhov and rostov. War and Peace" is significant not only because it impressively depicts the war and individual battles, but also because it reports on tea parties and balls. tolstoy often has the russian nobles speak in the french language, which was common at the time, and thus takes the reader on a unique journey into the russia of bygone times. Hardly any other work succeeds in portraying the conditions of the time so faithfully.

one of the countless main characters is the lovely natasha from the now impoverished noble house of rostov – she falls in love with the rich prince andrej bolkonski, but has to wait for him for a year. another main character in "war and peace" is natasha’s and bolkonsky’s mutual friend pierre besukhov. The latter unexpectedly inherits a large piece of land and from now on renounces his previously easy-going lifestyle. The fate of these three people is linked in an impressive way and during the battles of austerlitz and borodin and the fire of moscow. war and peace" tells not only of war, power and money, but also of a forbidden love – a woman between two men. The novel begins in 1805, the year in which Russia’s third coalition war against France began. finally, in 1812, the novel ends with the fact that napoleon’s campaign against russia failed miserably.

Important characters

no less than 300 people play a role in the novel. Due to the numerous plot lines and the countless characters, it is easy to lose track of the story. But the most significant characters are:

  • The count pierre besukhov
  • Prince andrei nikolayevich bolkonski
  • Natasha Rostova
  • Princess Mary Bolkonskaya
  • Anatol kuragin
  • officer fyodor dolokhov

Due to the large number of protagonists, the personal index at the end of the novel is quite helpful.


the very title of the novel "war and peace" speaks volumes and suggests that the author talks a lot about war and its sufferings. tolstoy does indeed despise wars and battles, but at the same time he creates an exciting family epic and tells the life stories of three Russian generations at once. Especially during the war and battle scenes – the three battles of schongraben, austerlitz and borodino are particularly noteworthy – tolstoy puts himself in the shoes of the little people and thus gives the reader an insight into their thoughts. The philosophical considerations and socially critical questions that tolstoy poses also stimulate the reader to think about various issues and make "war and peace" a remarkable and, above all, challenging book. This book is so important not least because it is a family, historical and educational novel all in one and therefore appeals to a wide range of tastes. But if you are interested in Russian history and literature, you should be interested in this monumental work. But once you hold the book in your hands, you will find that the narrative is quite understandable. However, you won’t find the kind of exciting scenarios found in modern crime novels and thrillers at the "war and peace" plant. The flawless presentation of historical events, however, also enriches the reader’s knowledge immensely.


"i can’t tell you, princess, how happy i am that i have come here by chance and will be able to prove my willingness to serve you.’"

"’We can still take four; I will gladly give my carriage to them,’ said the steward. ‘but where to put the last?’
‘just take the carriage with my wardrobe’, said the countess. ‘dunjascha can join me in the carriage.’"

"’do not talk to me about it. What is my business?’, he replied. I say nothing more than that I am madly, madly in love with them. How can I help it they are so enchantingly beautiful?’"

"’what’s up? case i? My knees buckle!, he thought and fell backwards on the earth."


Personal rating

"war and peace" is a true master epic that captivates the reader from the first to the last page – a novel that will probably remain in the reader’s memory forever. war and peace" is well suited for all readers who are interested in the great historical events of our world, but all other book lovers should not miss this novel. It is not without reason that the work "war and peace" is also called the "encyclopedia of russian life". love and hate, passion and great feelings can be found in this masterpiece, as well as the search of individual characters for the meaning of life.


"war and peace" is not only a classic of world literature, but also one of the most important historical novels, which, however, demands some concentration from the reader while reading it.

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