All posts tagged: Retreat from Russia

War & Peace.

Many describe it as the greatest novel ever written, Tolstoy’s historical classic, that takes us across the vast sweeps of Eastern Europe and into the Russian heartland.  Napoleon’s reign of European domination begins and culminates in him leading an army of unparalleled strength – the pride of France – into a doomed campaign against Alexander I’s Russia.  The army reaches Moscow before its calamitous retreat from the great city that now lay in burnt ruins, and Napoleon’s army’s eventual destruction in the long flight. The novel is well named as it brilliantly describes and depicts vivid battle scenes, whilst also following the grandeur and splendour of early nineteenth century Russia, with its large beautiful estates, balls, and the wealth of the ruling aristocracy.  The story follows the Rostov, Bolkonsky and Bezuhov families as they wrestle with the changing times, the struggle of liberal ideals, and the rise and fall of their respective family’s fortunes.  These breaks from the military campaign give the narrative real depth, and you appreciate the titanic sacrifice and strength of the …