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The novel 'War and Peace' by Leo Tolstoy tells the story of the tumult and upheaval of society in Russia in the times of the Napoleonic War. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Russia was a very divided country, having a privileged and out of touch aristocracy at the top, a starving peasantry at the bottom of the pile - and not much in the middle. There were doctors and teachers and other professionals of course, but generally it was very hard , if not well-nigh impossible for a poor person to better themselves or get educated without a benefactor. Moves were already afoot however, to end the injustice and unrest. In a hugely wide-ranging novel, Tolstoy tells the story of unfolding events through some very different characters. Some uphold the status quo, and others realise that things will never be the same again....
It would be very difficult for me to give you an adequate summary of such a powerful novel in this tiny space, so I will direct you to the summary that enotes provides on this site. It is very comprehensive! I will try to give a brief overview of Leo Tolstoy's novel, War and Peace, without butchering it too much. This novel takes place in nineteenth century Russia during the Napoleonic war. I think the appeal of this book, even though it is quite lengthy, is the fact that it is history, romance, and drama all rolled into one: there is something for everyone. This novel chronicles the lives of the characters who are from very different parts of society. It shows the crumbling, old way of life and juxtaposes it with the new and emerging society.
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