At a glittering society party in St. Petersburg in 1805, conversations are dominated by the prospect of war. Terror swiftly engulfs the country as Napoleon’s army marches on Russia, and the lives of three young people are changed forever. The stories of quixotic Pierre, cynical Andrey, and impetuous Natasha interweave with a huge cast, from aristocrats and peasants to soldiers and Napoleon himself.
In War and Peace, Tolstoy entwines grand themes—conflict and love, birth and death, free will and fate—with unforgettable scenes of nineteenth-century Russia to create a magnificent epic of human life in all its imperfection and grandeur.
Download and start listening now!
About Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was born about two hundred miles from Moscow. His mother died when he was two, his father when he was nine. His parents were of noble birth, and Tolstoy remained acutely aware of his aristocratic roots, even when he later embraced doctrines of equality and the brotherhood of man. After serving in the army in the Caucasus and Crimea, where he wrote his first stories, he traveled and studied educational theories. In 1862 he married Sophia Behrs and for the next fifteen years lived a tranquil, productive life, finishing War and Peace in 1869 and Anna Karenina in 1877. In 1879 he underwent a spiritual crisis; he sought to propagate his beliefs on faith, morality, and nonviolence, writing mostly parables, tracts, and morality plays. Tolstoy died of pneumonia in 1910 at the age of eighty-two.
About Edward Petherbridge
theater experience is extensive. He originated the role of Guildenstern in the original production
of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,
and he has been nominated for two Tony Awards, one for Nicholas Nickleby and the other for Strange Interlude. For the latter he also received an Olivier
Award. His television and film credits include Gulliver’s Travels, An
Awfully Big Adventure, No Strings,
and Lord Peter Wimsey.