Reading for Sunday, 22 February
Sorry again about the delay. One of the reasons for that is that I’ve actually been trying to work out exactly what happened in this chapter. With no suitable footnotes, I’m not really sure what the background story is to the Vereshtchagin incident.
From what I understand, a fake proclamation (was it meant to be from Rastopchin or Napoleon?) appeared around town – probably something about Moscow about to be captured by the French. Either way, they traced it back to the uneducated Vereshtchagin, who refused to offer any other explanation other than that he made it up.
Either way, I think this chapter is designed to show the madness that is Moscow on the eve of invasion.