Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Leo Tolstoy wrote greatest novels ever

Leo Tolstoy
It is the birthday of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy (1828), whose novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1878) are considered two of the greatest novels ever written. Tolstoy did not consider War and Peace to be a novel but rather an epic in prose. He considered Anna Karenina to be his first novel.

Tolstoy grew up in a privileged old Russian noble family, and though his parents died when he was a child, he was brought up by relatives. He received a university education but left in the middle of it, with instructors saying he was unable or unwilling to learn. He was given to heavy gambling and living a wild life full of drinking and women. He joined the army and served as a second lieutenant in the Crimean War. His experience became the basis of parts of War and Peace.

Tolstoy traveled in Europe and met Victor Hugo, who had just finished Les Miserables. He also met French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Both were to have a great influence on Tolstoy's outlook and his writing. In fact, Tolstoy took the title for War and Peace from a work by Proudhon.

War and Peace is a sweeping saga that is set after the French invasion of Russia in 1812. Tolstoy began writing it after he settled down on his country estate with his wife. He interviewed numerous veterans of that war and read journals, letters, autobiographical and biographical works about Napoleon  in an effort to depict the era accurately. The book contains historical figures as well as fictional characters, some 580 in all. It describes the Napoleon's invasion of Russia and the effect on Russian aristocratic families. It is divided into four volumes and is one of the longest books ever written.

Tolstoy's character Anna Karenina was a Russian aristocrat married to a man 20 years older. She carries on an affair with a young affluent nobleman. The story is set against the tapestry of Russian society in the late 19th century. The story was first published in serialized form beginning in 1873 but Tolstoy clashed with his editor over political positions Tolstoy took near the end of the serialization so the complete novel only appeared in book form.

Both books have been adapted for film. The most well known version of War and Peace was released in 1956 and starred Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Mel Ferrer, though a four-part, seven-hour, 1965 Russian version won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. There have been numerous versions of Anna Karenina. Greta Garbo made the film twice, in 1927 and in 1935. The most recent version will be released in November starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP