The Decembrists

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The Decembrists was a planned novel by Leo Tolstoy, who finished three chapters. Its hero was to have been a participant in the abortive Decembrist Uprising of 1825, released from Siberian exile after 1856.

Termination of writing[edit]

During composition, Tolstoy decided to begin with what he saw as the roots of the Decembrist movement in the 1812 Napoleonic invasion of Russia. The result was his celebrated novel War and Peace, set between the years 1805 and 1820. Its final chapters carry the action up to the period of the Decembrists. Tolstoy may have intended War and Peace to be volume one of a planned trilogy, whose subsequent parts would center on the years 1825 and 1856, respectively. It is known that he conducted research into the Decembrist movement with much the same thoroughness that he had approached the Napoleonic wars. The sequels, however, were never written.