Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy began work on the novel "War and Peace" in 1856. He assumed that the main character of the work would be the Decembrist, who returned home 30 years after the uprising on Senate Square, after the amnesty announced by Emperor Alexander II. But, gradually the plot moved in the days of his youth, to the Patriotic War of 1812. Tolstoy began serious work on the work in 1863 and wrote for six years.
The transition from concept to execution was not easy. There are 15 different variants of the beginning of the work. Tolstoy carefully studied the biographies of Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, Napoleon, Emperor Alexander the First. He studied the sources about the Battle of Borodino. Gradually, a huge library with books, magazines and documents, testifying to the events of the early 19th century, gathered in Yasnaya Polyana.
It was possible to set the date for the start of work on the novel thanks to the writer's father-in-law, A. Ye. Bers, who in his letter noted that Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy mentioned in a conversation with him that he had begun writing a huge work about the war with Napoleon's army. The author did not immediately decide on the title of the work. Initially, there were several options: "All is well that ends well", "1805", "Three pores".
At the initial stage of his work, the writer had a grandiose plan: the events of the novel were to cover the entire first half of the nineteenth century. But, gradually, he came to the conclusion that he would not be able to carry out his plans simply physically, therefore, the main actions take place in the first fifteen years of this century.
Striving for the maximum reliability of the description of the Battle of Borodino, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy personally visited the famous field, compiled a detailed description of it. He even followed the movement of the sun, noting at what time and on which hills the shadow falls. The writer noted in his notes that with
Borodino field can be seen around 25 versts. In a letter to his wife, Tolstoy said that he was very pleased with his trip, and intended to describe the Battle of Borodino in a way that no one else had been able to.
Some participants in the Patriotic War of 1812, for example, Pyotr Vyazemsky and Abraham Norov, reproached the author for too closely intertwining history and literary work in his work, which ultimately harms both history and literature. At the same time, they noted the fact that the Battle of Borodino is described in the novel very reliably.
There are a huge number of characters in the novel "War and Peace". The researchers even counted them all. The exact number is amazing - there were 559 of them. About 350 of them are fictional characters, plus 200 real-life historical figures. One of the writer's maternal ancestors, Nikolai Sergeevich Volkonsky, became the prototype of Prince Nikolai Andreevich Bolkonsky.
The publication of the first parts of the novel began in 1865 in the Russian Bulletin magazine. The work was published with the title "1905". And in 1868-1869. a complete work is published, this time under the final title - "War and Peace". The novel immediately gained immense popularity among readers in Russia, and then throughout the world.
Cinematographers, of course, could not pass by such a grandiose work as the novel by Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy. The first film, still silent, was released back in 1913. It was shot by director Pyotr Chardinin. The role of Andrei Bolkonsky was played by the famous Russian actor Ivan Mokhzzhukhin.
Since then, films based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy have been released more than once. By far the most ambitious picture is the work of Sergei Bondarchuk. The preparation and the filming itself lasted about six years. The director himself starred in the role of Pierre Bezukhov.
In 1935, the composer Sergei Prokofiev decided to write the opera "War and Peace", but for several years he did not dare to start work, realizing that such a topic would require a huge amount of time and effort. The beginning of the Great Patriotic War prompted Prokofiev to postpone all other work and seriously engage in an old idea. He understood that such a patriotic theme as "War and Peace" is simply necessary for the war era. The main work was completed in the spring of 1942.
The novel "War and Peace" is one of the hundred most popular books of all times and peoples. Meanwhile, the author himself was rather skeptical about him, according to the letters and entries in the diaries. For example, in 1871, in a letter to A. A. Fet, he said that he was happy that “I will never write nonsense verbose like 'War' again.” And in the last years of his life he wrote in his diary: “People love me for those trifles - War and Peace, etc., which seem very important to them. ”Leo Tolstoy did not include War and Peace among his most significant works, claiming that he had more serious works.