and excessive luxury, characteristic of the Russian aristocracy. He saw life in country and city, in camp and court. He was numbered among the defenders of Sebastopol in the Crimean War, and the impressions then gathered he used as material for a series of War Sketches that attracted attention in the pages of the magazine where they first appeared; and when, a little later, they were published in book form, their author, then twenty-eight years of age, acquired at once a wide popularity. Popularity became fame with the publication, also in 1856, of Childhood and Youth, remarkable alike for its artless revelations concerning the genesis and growth of ideas and emotions in the minds of the young, for its idyllic pictures of domestic life, and for its graceful descriptions of nature. This was followed by The Cossacks, a wild romance of the steppes, vigorously realistic in details, and, like all of Count Tolstoi's works, poetic in conception and inspired with a dramatic intensity. In 1860 appeared War and Peace, an historical romance in many volumes, dealing with the Napoleonic invasion of 1812 and the events that immediately followed the retreat from Moscow. According to M. C. Courrière, it was seized upon with avidity and produced a profound sensation.
"The stage is immense and the actors are innumerable; among them three emperors with their ministers, their marshals, and their generals, and then a countless retinue of minor officers, sol-
- Histoire de la littérature contemporaine en Russie.