Tolstoy’s style, which he used in the battle scenes – of starting some distance away and gradually drawing his reader into the scene, is used to great effect here again (assuming that you were noticing matters of style as we went along). We’re first of all in the carriage out on the street, so all is dark, cold and miserable. Then it’s the red carpet, the stairwell, saying hello to the hosts – then next thing you know, we’re in the ballroom and we’re getting a running commentary from Madame Peronsky (the girls’ host) on who’s who.
And it is a bit of a Who’s Who, isn’t it? We’ve got Anatole “Ratbag” Kuragin, Helene, Pierre, Andrei, Speranski (I assume that’s who he was talking to) and Boris.
In fact, because there are so many of them, I thought it might be time to relist the MindMap. I haven’t done too many updates to it (except to remove some minor characters who haven’t really featured much since the beginning of the book, so it’s probably safe to axe them). A lot of the descriptions are how the characters are first described when they appear, but that’s probably a good thing.
See you tomorrow as the action all happens.