Roman L.N. Tolstoy's "War and Peace" has become one of the most famous works of not only domestic, but also world literature. Having recreated a large-scale picture of the events from which Europe shuddered at the beginning of the 19th century, the author was able at the same time to masterfully convey the experiences of his heroes, to draw vivid images and tragic fates of the representatives of the people. It took Tolstoy several years of hard work to achieve this effect.
"War and Peace": the birth of an idea
The first evidence that allows us to talk about the time when Leo Tolstoy began working on his most famous novel dates back to September 1863. In a letter from Sophia Andreevna's father, the writer's wife, researchers found mention of Tolstoy's idea to create a novel relating to the events of 1812. Apparently, the author discussed his plans with loved ones.
A month later, Tolstoy himself wrote to one of his relatives that he felt free and ready for the upcoming work. The writer calls a work a novel that tells about the beginning of the 19th century. Judging by the letter, Tolstoy pondered the idea of the work from the beginning of autumn, giving it all the strength of his soul.
The intense and exciting work on War and Peace lasted seven long years. The history of the creation of the work can be judged by the Tolstoy archive, which contains several thousand sheets, covered with small, well-cut handwriting. From this archive, one can trace how the creator's intention was born and changed.
The history of the creation of the novel
From the very beginning, Lev Tolstoy hoped to create a work about one of the participants in the December uprising, who is returning home after three decades of Siberian exile. The action was supposed to begin in the late 50s, several years before the abolition of serfdom in Russia.
Initially, the work was supposed to be called "Three Pores", which corresponded to the stages of the formation of the heroes.
Later, Tolstoy revised the storyline and stopped at the era of the Decembrist uprising, and then moved on to describing the events of 1812 and 1805. According to the author's idea, his heroes had to consistently go through all the most important events for the country. To do this, he had to shift the beginning of the conceived story half a century ago.
As the author himself testified, during the first year of work on the work, he tried several times and again gave up creating its beginning. A dozen or so versions of the first parts of the book have survived to this day. Tolstoy more than once fell into despair and indulged in doubts, losing hope that he could express in words the thoughts he wanted to convey to the reader.
In the process of creative work, Lev Nikolaevich studied in detail a myriad of factual materials, including memoirs, letters, real historical documents. He managed to collect an extensive and solid collection of books describing events related to the war of 1812.
Leo Tolstoy personally traveled to the site of the Battle of Borodino in order to study and take into account in the descriptions essential details that could revive the narrative.
Tolstoy's initial plans were to draw in the form of a work of art the history of the country over several decades. But in the course of writing the novel, the author decided to narrow the time frame and focus only on the first decade and a half of his century. But even in this truncated form, the book gradually turned into an epic work. The result was a grandiose epic novel, which laid the foundation for a new direction in Russian and world prose.