In 1851, at the age of twenty-two, Tolstoy joined the Russian army and travelled to the Caucasus as a soldier. The four years that followed were among the most significant in his life, and deeply influenced the stories collected here. Begun in 1852 but unfinished for a decade, 'The Cossacks' describes the experiences of Olenin, a young cultured Russian who comes to despise civilization after spending time with the wild Cossack people. 'Sevastopol Sketches', based on Tolstoy's own experiences of the siege of Sevastopol in 1854-55, is a compelling consideration of the nature of war, while 'Hadji Murat', written towards the end of his life, returns to the Caucasus of Tolstoy's youth to explore the life of a great leader torn apart by a conflict of loyalties
Available at Camberwell, Grove Vale and John Harvard.