Dissolute, disenchanted Dmitri Olénin decides to join the Army as a cadet and is despatched to the Caucasus. There, he is transformed by seeing how the indigenous people live in harmony with nature, how their lives have more meaning than those of the superficial social elite in Moscow, and he finds a new sense of self and purpose. But nothing is ever quite that simple. Love and loyalty are tested to the very limits in this semi-autobiographical novella, which is one of Tolstoy’s best-loved works. Translated by Aylmer and Louise Maude.