This is the first book published by the Folio Society. There are 6 short stories/novellas. The earliest is “The Raid”, written when Tolstoy in his mid twenties, and the last, “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” when he was in his late fifties. The other stories are “Two Hussars”, “Three Deaths”, “Polikushka” and “Two Old Men”
Although my book has seen better days, it is wonderful to have a copy of the first book from the Folio Society. It and its dustjacket have long parted and the cover has a moderate case of sunburn on its upper extremities.
Amongst Tolstoy’s themes in these stories are bravery, integrity, honour, honesty, piety, weakness, fate and self doubt.
The illustrator was Elizabeth MacFadyen. To the best of my knowledge these was her first and last illustrations for the Folio Society. Although I did not particularly like them at first I have come to appreciate them more. There is a wonderful sense of lighting in most of them.
I’ll put the list of illustrations and then the illustrations themselves.
And a page of the text