I got an email from one of my closest friends asking me for a reminder of my favourite translation of War and Peace. I’ve read three (two fully and one I didn’t get to the end of) versions and my favourite is the Penguin Pocket edition by Anthony Briggs. And yes, it is a bit much calling it a ‘pocket’ edition. Hagrid’s overcoat pockets, maybe. Mine, no. The other I enjoyed was the Pevear and Volokhonsky edition, it’s technically beautiful and well written however when I just want to sit and read I tend to pick up the Briggs version instead. Although it is possible that my decision is swayed by the sheer size of the P&V edition – ours is a hardback and could knock out the Napoleonic army on its own.
I have had problems sleeping for most of my life and listening to audiobooks has become a habit for when I’m too tired to do anything but just cannot drift off. At the moment I am listening to Edward Petherbridge reading a (very abridged) version of ‘War and Peace’. I just adore his voice. I have blathered in the past about my love of Dorothy Sayers and her character Lord Peter Wimsey, I fell for Mr Petherbridge the first time I saw him play Wimsey in the television series.
Sadly I know absolutely no Russian so I’m not sure how accurate any of the translations are to the original but I always enjoy reading them.
p.s. Couldn’t find a picture appropriate to War and Peace so just stuck a random one in…