War and Peace Questions and Answers
by Leo Tolstoy

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Can you give me a brief summary of "War and Peace"?  

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Reuben Lindsey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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War and Peace starts in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1805.  Napoleon has conquered much of Europe and troops are being mobilized to defend Russia.  Two characters, Andrew and Nicholas go to the front.  His friend Pierre is made sole heir of his father’s fortune and marries.  His wife cheats on him.  Andrew returns home just as his wife dies in childbirth.  Pierre leaves his wife for spiritual pursuits.  Nicholas comes home with gambling debts.  His family wants him to marry rich, but he has promised himself to his cousin Sonya, and resists.  Nicholas’ sister Natasha becomes attached to Andrew, but Andrew’s father Andrew’s father stalls the marriage.  Natasha falls for another and plans to elope – Andrew finds out and rejects her.  In 1812, Napoleon invades Russia.  Andrew returns to service and gets hurt.  Nicholas saves his sister Mary, who has been carrying for the child, from angry peasants and the two fall in love.   The Russians and French fight at Borodino, where the smaller Russian army wins.  Nicholas’ family prepares to evacuate, and take Andrew with them.  Pierre has become half-crazed, and wanders Moscow convinced he is supposed to kill Napoleon.  Andrew declares his love for Natasha before dying.  Pierre is captured but eventually liberated by from the French, and marries Natasha.  Nicholas weds Mary, and the two have a happy life.  

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