AMONG THE MOST IMPORTANT NOVELS IN WORLD LITERATURE: TOLSTOY'S EPIC WAR AND PEACE, EXCEPTIONAL 1886 FIRST COMPLETE EDITION IN ENGLISH, IN BRIGHT GILT-STAMPED ORIGINAL CLOTH
TOLSTOY, Leo. War and Peace. A Historical Novel. Translated into French by a Russian Lady and from the French by Clara Bell. New York: William S. Gottsberger, 1886. Six volumes. Small octavo, original decorative brown cloth gilt, brown endpapers. $22,000.
First complete edition in English of one of the most important novels in world literature, six volumes, in beautiful original cloth-gilt binding.
Seven years in the writing, War and Peace is undeniably the greatest literary work relating to the Napoleonic wars. The juxtaposition of historical, social, and personal themes and the monumental size and scope of the novel combine to present an accurate and vibrant portrait of the Russian nation. German novelist Thomas Mann noted of War and Peace, "The pure narrative power of his work is unequalled. Seldom did art work so much like nature." Originally published in 1865-69, the novel was not translated into English until almost 20 years later. A London edition of War and Peace was also published in 1886, but omits several philosophical passages and the second epilogue; this Gottsberger edition is complete. A third edition, published by Harper and Brothers, also appeared in 1886. No priority is given among these editions. Line 104. Contemporary owner signature dated 1887 in final volume.
Interior fine; Volume I recased, Volume VI with rear inner hinge expertly reinforced; original cloth fine, gilt bright and crisp. A beautiful copy.