The Death of Ivan Ilych: (Annotated with Biography and Critical Essay)

Leo Tolstoy (Author) Golgotha Press (Editor)


Tolstoy begins The Death of Ivan Ilyich with the protagonist's death and moves backward from there. The novel opens with Peter Ivanovich reading about the death of his fellow judge and friend Ivan Ilyich, who has just died at the age of forty-five. Peter is with a group of legal representatives during a break in a trial as he glances through the obituaries. With the news of their colleague's death, each man thinks about how Ivan's passing might benefit them. None of them are looking forward to visiting the family to pay their respects. It is just a social obligation. This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.

Product Details

Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publish Date
September 01, 2014
6.0 X 0.26 X 9.0 inches | 0.38 pounds
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About the Author

The novel is set 60 years before Tolstoy's day, but he had spoken with people who lived through the 1812 French invasion of Russia. He read all the standard histories available in Russian and French about the Napoleonic Wars and had read letters, journals, autobiographies and biographies of Napoleon and other key players of that era. There are approximately 160 real persons named or referred to in War and Peace. He worked from primary source materials (interviews and other documents), as well as from history books, philosophy texts and other historical novels. Tolstoy also used a great deal of his own experience in the Crimean War to bring vivid detail and first-hand accounts of how the Russian army was structured. Tolstoy was critical of standard history, especially military history, in War and Peace. He explains at the start of the novel's third volume his own views on how history ought to be written. His aim was to blur the line between fiction and history, to get closer to the truth, as he states in Volume ii.