Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Voina i Mir. [War and Peace.] Moscow: T. Ris [for the author], 1868-69.
TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Voina i Mir. [War and Peace.] Moscow: T. Ris [for the author], 1868-69.
TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Voina i Mir. [War and Peace.] Moscow: T. Ris [for the author], 1868-69.
2 More
No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.
TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Voina i Mir. [War and Peace.] Moscow: T. Ris [for the author], 1868-69.

Details
TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Voina i Mir. [War and Peace.] Moscow: T. Ris [for the author], 1868-69.

The first edition of 'the most important work in the whole of Russian realistic fiction', Tolstoy's use of details gave the book 'alone perhaps among all books – the appearance of actual life' (Mirsky, p.271). War and Peace is one of the great nineteenth-century novels in any language, and stands at the peak of the realist mode. Isaak Babel once quipped that 'if the world could write by itself it would write like Tolstoy'. Even Turgenev, whose quarrel with Tolstoy almost led to a duel, conceded that 'nothing better has been written by anyone in Russia, and probably nothing so good has ever been written'. War and Peace was self-published; Tolstoy contracted Ris, advanced 4500 rubles for the printing of 4800 copies, and promised 30 percent of the gross profit to the printer and the proofreader. The enterprise showed a handsome return: War and Peace retailed for 10 rubles, and quickly went into a second edition following enthusiastic reviews. Kilgour 1196.

Six volumes in three, octavo (232 x 153mm). With some of the blank leaves. (Title page of volume 4 with a repaired tear, repaired in the inside margin, and perhaps supplied; occasional light dampstain; two bifolia in volume 5 bound out-of-sequence but present; scattered spotting; occasional mostly marginal soiling.) Early 20th-century Russian quarter leather with green spot-marbled sides, flat spines ruled and lettered in gilt (gilt faded; lightly rubbed). Provenance: 'M.S.' (Cyrillic initials at the foot of the spines).
Special notice

No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.

Brought to you by

Sven Becker
Sven Becker

More from Russian Literary First Editions & Manuscripts: Highlights from the R. Eden Martin Collection

View All
View All