Today’s Chapter:

Garnett/Edmondson: 1.21

Maude: 1.24

. . . and so Count Bezukhov is dead (“at last,” some of you may be saying . . .).  The motivations in this chapter are rather complex and fascinating.  Did Anna Mikhaylovna just help make sure Pierre got his fortune so that she could get some money for Boris? (Considering the Rostov’s had helped her out.)  Or is she less of a scab and more of a kind soul than we think?

When Vassily is overcome with the horror of death  – and realises that it comes to get us all – is he truly grief-stricken and shocked, or is he just trying to divert attention away from the fact that he very nearly ripped Pierre off of an amazing fortune?

What do you think?

Whatever the motivations – this key chapter sets up Pierre with money for the rest of the book.  Will the money change him?  What will this newfound life of aristocracy lead to?

The story continues – change of scene tomorrow, for those whose patience has run thin . . .

Tomorrow’s Chapter:

Garnett/Edmondson: 1.22

Maude: 1.25

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5 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 1.21 – Battling Heirs

  1. How’s this for a subtle indicator of wealth? The prince enters the room precisely as the clock strikes 2, only to hear the chimes of one clock corresponding with those of another. “The great clock struck two, and was echoed in shriller tones by another clock in the drawing room.”

    In those days, very few people had clocks and fewer, still, had watches. Even at the turn of the next century, when the Sydney Town Hall, the GPO and Central Railway Station were constructed, they were surmounted by large clocks that chimed to alert the populace to the changing hours. The same need justified chiming clocks in homes – people didn’t have watches. That’s why, when someone retired – even after WWI – they might be lucky enough to get a “golden handshake” and receive a fob watch. (Wrist watches weren’t developed until the first decade of the C20). I remember getting a watch from my grandparents when I turned 10. I was made to understand what a special gift this was – and it was so. Not another child in my class had a watch. And that was only 1963.

    So the great clock chimes, and another echoes it – a cheapy, a shrill one, but nonetheless, a second clock. Wow!

    And we, opulent people that we are, accustomed to having the time available not only on our wrists but on our phones, iPAQs, microwaves, ovens, CD players, DVDs, computers – everywhere – we barely notice what Tolstoy has said.

    Cute, eh?

  2. I’m dead! Me culpa! I just realized I’d commented on 1.24 from Edmonds instead of 1.24 from Maude. Cardinal sin to rush ahead. Bring the sackcloth and ashes. I’m sorry. But I haven’t given away any of the story, just demonstrated the need for care.

  3. Dear, dear, dear . . . for the rest of you, you can wait till tomorrow to find out who this fabulously wealthy prince who owns not one but TWO clocks . . .

  4. I think Anna Mikhailovna is trying to get money from Pierre. Her version of the last meeting between Pierre and his father is trying to present things her way for her purposes.

    Although I’ve forgotten a lot since I last read the story I don’t remember Pierre seeming so naive through this whole episode with his dying father.

  5. There are no new characters to put into the count here . . . the old man has gone and thanks to Anna M’s interference, the latest will has to be honoured.

    Pierre, it looks like, is the heir!

    90

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