The Cossacks is a short novel by Leo Tolstoy, published in 1863 in the popular literary magazine The Russian Messenger. It was originally called Young Manhood. Both Ivan Turgenev and the Nobel prize-winning Russian writer Ivan Bunin gave the work great praise, Turgenev calling it his favorite work by Tolstoy. Tolstoy began work on the story in August 1853. In August 1857, after having reread Iliad, he vowed to completely rewrite The Cossacks. In February 1862, after having lost badly at cards he finished the novel to help pay his debts. The novel was published in 1863, the same year his first child was born. Disenchanted with his privileged life in Russian society, nobleman Dmitri Olenin joins the army as a cadet, in the hopes of escaping the superficiality of his daily life. On a quest to find "completeness," he naively hopes to find serenity among the "simple" people of the Caucasus. In an attempt to immerse himself in the local culture, he befriends an old man. They drink wine, curse, and hunt pheasant and boar in the Cossack tradition, and Olenin even begins to dress in the manner of a Cossack. He forgets himself and falls in love with the young Maryanka, in spite of her fiance Lukashka. While spending life as a Cossack, he learns lessons about his own inner life, moral philosophy, and the nature of reality. He also understands the intricacies of human psychology and nature. The young idealist Dmitriy Olenin leaves Moscow, hoping to start a new life in the Caucasus. In the stanitsa, he slowly becomes enamored by the surroundings and despises his previous existence. He befriends the old Cossack Eroshka, who goes hunting with him and finds him a good fellow because of his propensity to drinking. During this time, young Cossack Luka kills a Chechen who is trying to come across the river towards the village to scout the Cossacks and in this way gains much respect. Olenin falls in love with the maid Maryanka, who is to be wed to Luka later in the story. He tries to stop this emotion and eventually convinces himself that he loves both Luka and Maryanka for their simplicity and decides that happiness can only come to a man who constantly gives to others with no thought of self-gratification."