Summary of the novel “War and Peace” by L. N. Tolstoy


Part one

Chapter I

The author’s reflections on the driving forces of history in connection with the role of Alexander I and Napoleon. The author says that it can not be said whether the activities of both are harmful or useful, since it can not be said why it was useful or harmful.

Chapter II

Reasoning about the case and genius. These two words do not mean anything, and therefore can not be determined. If we do not know why some phenomenon is happening, we say: the case. If we see a force that produces disproportionate to universal human actions, and do not know why this is happening, we say: genius.

Chapter III.

Reasoning about the causes of the movement of European peoples from west to east and from east to west. About the accidental role of Napoleon in these movements. Instead of his genius, there is only stupidity and meanness, which have no analogue.

Chapter IV.

The end of the accidental role of Napoleon,

after the action is committed. Alexander I and his role in the movement of the masses from east to west. It was not needed during the people’s war, but after its end and the outbreak of the European war, it comes to the fore. Thoughts on the role of the individual in serving common goals. A person can only observe life, its accomplishments, understanding the inaccessibility of the ultimate goal.

Chapter V

The wedding of Pierre and Natasha becomes the last joyful event in the family of the Rostovs. The death of the old Count Rostov. All previous events: the fire of Moscow, the flight from it, the death of Prince Andrew, Peti knocked down the old count, and he died leaving the material affairs of the family in complete decline. The ruin of the Rostovs. Nikolay retires, enters the civil service and hardly keeps his mother and Sonya. Sonya was in charge of the household, Nikolai felt himself in an unpaid debt to her, but at the same time hated her for her excellence. The situation of Nicholas is getting worse. There are two ways out: marrying a wealthy heiress and the death of a mother, but Nikolay does

not even think about either one or even more about the second. Natasha and Pierre at this time live in Petersburg, not having a clear idea of ​​the position of the Rostov family.

Chapter VI

Arrival in Moscow Princess Mary. From friends she learns about how she sacrifices herself Nikolai for the sake of her mother. Princess Mary thinks that she did not expect anything else from him. Her visit to the Rostovs. Meeting with Nicholas. His estrangement from her. Nikolay meets Princess Mary especially solemnly and dryly. Grief of Princess Mary. She feels that his cool tone is covering something, but that’s what – she could not understand and really wanted to find out. After the departure of the princess mother persuades Nicholas to go to Marya, to unwind, in addition, she is a good girl and a rich heiress. Nikolay takes a long time, but finally surrenders. Return visit of Nicholas. Explanation of Nicholas and Mary. Marya starts talking about his situation, but Nikolai interrupts. The Princess says that he has become different, Nikolai replies that there are many reasons for this. And then Mary understands that the whole point is, that he is now poor, and she is rich. Princess once again is struck by the nobility of Nicholas’s soul. But the feelings take their, and “the distant, the impossible suddenly became close, possible and inevitable.”

Chapter VII.

Marriage of Nicholas in Princess Mary. Life in the Bald Mountain. The economy of Nicholas. From Nicholas turned out to be a good host. For three years I was able to pay off all debts, bought an estate near the Bald Mountain, negotiated for the repayment of the estate of Father Otradnoe. Princess Mary never interfered in the affairs of the estate, but only contemplated the troubles of Nicholas.

Chapter VIII

Family life of Nicholas. Nicholas was very quick-tempered and liked to spread his hands. An explanation with Countess Marya about beating the elder. Princess Mary cries, she feels sorry for a man, and Nikolai promises that he will never again raise his hand to anyone. Sonya’s position in the house. From the very beginning of his life Nikolay told Mary about everything that was between him and Sonia, and asks the princess to love Sonia, not to offend. Mary tries to love Sonia, but she can not and even looks for negative qualities in her. Characteristics given to Sonia Natasha. Natasha calls Sonya a void, but says that Sonya does not understand, does not feel this as they feel, Marya and Natasha. And Marya, looking at Sonia, agrees with Natasha. Sonia did not seem to be burdened by her position, which she quite reconciled. She lives the way she does.

Chapter IX

The eve of the winter Nikolin of the day of 1820 in Bald Hills. Nicholas and the Countess Mary. Their tiff and reconciliation. Princess Mary suddenly began to doubt that Nikolai loved her. He calms his wife, saying that without him he finds no place for himself. Children. The happiness of Countess Mary. She thinks she would never have believed that she could be so happy. But at the same time her expression expressed sadness. “As if, besides the happiness that she experienced, there was another happiness unattainable in this life, which she involuntarily remembered at that moment.”

Chapter X

Natasha is married. She changed a lot, there was already no Natasha, which everyone knew since childhood. She lived in contradiction with the rule that the girl, having married, should not go down. She immersed herself in the family, her husband, all that was revealed, without a trace. Relations with Pierre. The whole house of Natasha and Pierre stayed at Pierre’s desires, which Natasha tried to guess and instantly fulfill. After seven years of living together, Pierre saw himself reflected in his wife.


Natasha in anticipation of Pierre’s arrival from St. Petersburg. Since Pierre left, Natasha is in a state of fear, sadness and irritation. Arrival of Pierre. Natasha’s animation is gradually turning into anger, she scolds Pierre for not being back so long. But Pierre knows that it is not his fault, and that soon this anger will turn into fun and joy. Pierre and Natasha in the nursery. Pierre is completely absorbed in his little child. Natasha says that he is an excellent father.

Chapter XII

Family interests of the inhabitants of the house of the Balgors. Everyone in the house loved Pierre, especially Nikolenka, the son of Prince Andrey. From all he heard, he concluded that his father, dying, bequeathed his beloved Natasha to his friend. And my father was for Nikolenka something like a deity. Gifts. Despite the fact that Pierre now lived a large family, he noticed that he was spending less and his business began to recover. He realized that such a routine of life is now for life, and was glad of it. The old countess of Rostov. She was already over 60 years old. And after all the events she now feels in this world accidentally forgotten being, having no purpose and meaning. And all the inhabitants of the house understand her condition, and therefore take care of her. Only children are frightened of it and shun.


Pierre and his wife in the living room. Talking with the old countess about the St. Petersburg news. At the decanter they try not to talk about the present situation of the country, but only about those people with whom she was familiar before, since the Countess so far behind her life that explaining everything to her was pointless. Pierre among the children. Pierre is completely given to the game with stockings.

Chapter XIV

Nicolenka Bolkonsky. Pierre says that Nikolenka becomes like his father, which causes the pride of the boy. Denisov. Talks about public interests in St. Petersburg and the state of affairs in Russia. Pierre says that the sovereign does not interfere in anything, is mired in mysticism, everything perishes, devastation everywhere. Perturbation by reaction and Arakcheevism. Thoughts of Pierre about society. He says that now everyone must join hands in order to resist what is happening. We must create a secret society. There will be a revolution – so says Pierre. Views of Nicholas Rostov and his sharp objection to Pierre. He proves to Pierre that there is no revolution and will not be, it is only Pierre’s imagination. The excitement of Nikolenka Bolkonsky, caused by an adult dispute. He tells Pierre that if Prince Andrey were alive, he supported him. Pierre understands what mental work is going on in the head of this boy,

Chapter XV

Nicholas and the Countess Mary. Her diary. Admiration Nicholas his wife after reading the diary. He understands that, spiritually, he is worthless before his wife. Their conversation about a dispute in the office and about Nicholas. Nicholas says he got into a heated argument with Pierre, but he can not accept that Pierre has entered a secret society. Princess Mary agrees with Nikolai that secretly the society is dangerous, especially since it is not possible to risk children. She is afraid for Nicholas, because he is always alone with his thoughts. In addition, she is very worried about the excitement that Nikolenka experienced during Pierre’s story about the secret society. Mary asks Nikolai to take the boy to society. Nicholas promises to do this.

Chapter XVI

Natasha and Pierre. Their conversation about children, about a dispute with Nikolai, about Platon Karataev. Natasha thinks that this important person for society is her husband. She asks Pierre, would approve Platon Karataev his entry into a secret society. Pierre says that he does not know, but that’s what he would definitely approve, this is their family life, and Pierre would proudly show him the children. Internal relations of Pierre and Natasha. They understand each other halfway, although they treat life differently. Sleep Nicholas of Bolkonsky. Thoughts about the father and Pierre. Nicholas had a dream that he and Pierre were in front of a huge army, which was made up of white oblique lines, the threads of the Virgin, as they called Desallus. But the threads begin to weaken, get confused, it becomes difficult. In a formidable pose, Nikolai Rostov appears before them and says that he will kill the first who moves on the orders of Arakcheev. Nikolenka looks back at Pierre, but sees his father instead. He caresses his son, and he feels liquid, boneless, impotent. Nikolai Rostov is getting closer to them, Nicholas feels fear and wakes up. Nicholas after awakening thinks that his father supports him and Pierre. Therefore, he, Nikolenka, will study and do what deserves the love and admiration of all people, as well as the praise of his father.

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Summary of the novel “War and Peace” by L. N. Tolstoy