And now the book returns full circle to something we heard planned right back in chapter 1.1 – the scheme to marry the ratbag Anatole off to Prince Bolkonsky’s daughter, Marya (Andrei’s sister). Outdoing his last appearance at the end of Book 1, old Bolkonsky is in even a fouler mood now. He knows that the arrival of Prince Vassily and Anatole will spell wedding bells (not to mention that he knows that Anatole is a ratbag) and so he responds in a spectacular display of tantrum throwing. I must admit, even I found it amusing that he orders his servants to shovel the snow back on to the road, so that his guests can’t arrive easily.
I’ll say more about all of this tomorrow, but I thought I’d point out that, at the end of the chapter, we see Marya head down a similar path to Pierre. She also decides to just go with the flow and let things happen how they will. (Only she dresses it up in rather fatalistic, religious terminology – but the idea is the same.)
How will this all pan out? It’s certainly not looking good . . .
I should start by saying that I thought it was time I updated the MindMap a little bit to reflect the recent change in events. So please note that a) Pierre and Ellen are now married. b) I also thought a line might be useful to indicate that Anatole is probably more interested in Mademoiselle Bourienne than Marya.