'And it seemed as though in a little while the solution would be found, and then a new and glorious life would begin; and it was clear to both of them that the end was still far off, and that what was to be most complicated and difficult for them was only just beginning.‘
- Anton Chekhov ‘The Lady with the Little Dog’ (1899)
'So Tolstoy became an active participant in the Crimean War, serving in Bucharest from March 1854, then in November travelling to Odessa, then on to Sevastopol, where he was to be based for the next year. He began work on Youth, the final novel in his autobiographical trilogy; and wrote three reports on the war, ‘Sevastopol in December’, ‘Sevastopol in May’, and ‘Sevastopol in August’. ‘Sevastopol in December’ was published in June in The Contemporary. While his first two novels had resulted in literary acclaim, this first piece of war reportage brought Tolstoy a wider reputation across Russia. ‘Sevastopol in May’, a harsher, bleaker, and anti-militaristic depiction of the war, was butchered by the censor. The three texts would be published as the Sevastapol Sketches after the war had ended; together, they comprise Tolstoy’s claim to being the first modern war correspondent (an accolade often bestowed upon William Howard Russell, who covered the Crimean War for The Times). The Siege of Sevastopol would provide another first within the realm of Russian art and letters: Defence of Sevastopol was the Russian Empire’s first feature film, premiering at the Livadia Palace in Crimea in October 1911. The Livadia Palace near Yalta, a summer estate of the Russian Emperors from the 1860s, rebuilt by Nicholas II, would host the Yalta Conference towards the close of World War II.'
- A sample paragraph from ‘Crimea: A Literary Perspective’
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