Translated by Louise & Aylmer Maude. With an Introduction by Henry and Olga Claridge, University of Kent at Canterbury. 'War and Peace' is a vast epic centred on Napoleon's war with Russia. While it expresses Tolstoy's view that history is an inexorable process which man cannot influence, he peoples his great novel with a cast of over five hundred characters. Three of these, the artless and delightful Natasha Rostov, the world-weary Prince Andrew Bolkonsky and the idealistic Pierre Bezukhov illustrate Tolstoy's philosophy in this novel of unquestioned mastery. This translation is one which received Tolstoy's approval. AUTHOR: Leo Tolstoy (1828 -1910) is one of the major figures in world literature, and 'War and Peace' is in contention to be considered the greatest novel ever written. But this is only one of his memorable works: 'Anna Karenina' certainly equals it in popularity, and his shorter works, such as 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich' are considered excellent.