Natasha Rostova by Elisabeth Bohm (wikipedia) | Leo Tolstoy (wikipedia)

From the most outrageous series of political wars to the heart wrenching realizations of morality, ‘War and Peace’ is a true depiction of life created by Russia’s great writer, Leo Tolstoy.

Considered as his greatest literary masterpiece, ‘War and Peace’ is being adapted to a mini TV series by BBC this year. This guarantees the viewers an exciting story centered on several historical events; mainly the French occupation of Russia and the reign of Tsar. Rather than narrating a story, Tolstoy laid out several philosophical truths about life itself.


Tolstoy, in his writing, took an interest to start with the peasantry rather than the aristocracy. In ‘War and Peace’ he has diverged much attention in looking inside the disturbed lives of the upper-class society. Along with the revelations into the lives of his major characters, Tolstoy gave his readers insight to the political instability and immorality in the society.

The novel is full of brilliant evening balls and parties, which would definitely be delightful to see on a TV screen. There is romance building up slowly between some characters, like the youthful Natasha’s love for Boris Drubetsky.

There are also the shadows of war hovering over the events and the youthful spirits being lifted up by thoughts of joining the army and bravery. With true historical events being brought out, like the Battle of Birodino, which was one of the most unsuccessful campaigns led by Napoleon over Russia, the plot twists and incidents once put on a TV screen would create great interest in viewers.

Hopefully, the series will depict all the dramatic incidents as they first appeared in print and the glamour of the rich lives led in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The plot as it shifts from one city to another is also a change the viewers would like to see.

Tolstoy’s female characters are always interesting. Natasha Rostova is one of the most realistic characters Tolstoy has ever molded. She is talented, a good musician, has a tender heart, romantic and learns through her own faults arisen by hasty decisions taken in her youth. Lily James, known for her title role in the 2015 movie ‘Cinderella’ will be starring as Natasha and Gillian Anderson as Anna Pavlona, a wealthy Petersburg dweller.

Hopefully the TV series would emerge successful preserving the quality of Tolstoy’s portrayals focusing on the central themes while creating the perfect historical atmosphere.