Peace, Love and War

Leo Tolstoy War and PeaceAs part of our celebration of “all things Russia” for Valentine’s Day, be sure to read our post in Rose’s Ridge, “From Russia With Love,” and try our recipes of Russian dishes from Around The Table. Also learn some interesting facts and view beautiful pictures here.

“What makes the 19th century Russian writers so distinctive” writes Francine Prose in New York Times’Bookends’ from November 25, 2014, “is the force, the directness, the honesty and accuracy with which they depicted the most essential aspects of human experience – childbirth, childhood, death, first love, marriage, happiness, loneliness, betrayal, poverty, wealth, war and peace…”

Born to a prominent family in the Russian nobility, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was regarded as a “virtually untouchable genius” whose two great works, War and Peace (1865-1869) and Anna Karenina (1875-1877) “combine unprecedented depth of characterization and keenness of observation with a profound interest in the philosophical underpinnings of everyday life.”* Read more

From Russia With Love

Leo Tolstoy Russia“Love,” Leo Tolstoy once said, “is life.” And love, like life, is multifaceted – it can be both beautiful and tragic in its complexity and mysteriousness.

As we approach this Valentine’s Day, with New England buried in Siberia-like snow, we can’t help but turn to Russia – a country whose complexity and mystery is just as vast and profound as the intricacy of love.

Winston Churchill, in a 1939 radio address, described it best when he said: “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…”

And Fyodor Tyutcheve (1803-1873), one of Russia’s greatest 19th century poets, said: “Russia cannot be understood with the mind alone…” Read more