This chapter is so well done, that you can just feel the awkwardness like an extra character in the chapter. Tolstoy breaks out all his detailed writing style to immerse us in the experience. We draw up to the “gloomy old house”, the count starts acting awkwardly, the flurry among the servants.
So by the time Marya is being unpleasant and the old count makes a crazy entrance in his dressing gown, we can only cringe . . .
It’s especially hard that Princess Marya, who we know is normally the most kind-hearted of women, now finds herself not liking Natasha. We would have thought that they would be good friends for each other – but not at the moment . . .
Can I take this opportunity to say to the Davis family (now in the Atherton Tablelands above Cairns), that you’re the most delightful in-laws that I could possibly have, and I’m very glad to have married into your family?