Reading for Friday 6 March

This chapter is a bit unusual because an unnamed relative of Count Rostov’s shows up looking for a bit of help. This chapter does give us a snapshot into what the Rostov household is looking like now that the master and mistress are away, but I can’t help wondering . . . am I supposed to know this relative?

Would he have shown up somewhere else? Or have I come across an entirely new character? I’ll have to keep reading to find out. I certainly love the picture of the various domestics, and old Mavra Kuzminishna putting herself in the shoes of the Countess and doling out money . . .


2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 11.22 – The Mysterious Relative

  1. I’m not absolutely sure, Matt, but I don’t think we are meant to know who this obscure Rostov relative is. It’s his anonymity that makes this chapter so moving, I think and such a stark and poignant contrast to the previous chapter. Here is a scene of such gentle tenderness and goodness between two pretty insignficant characters – one of those passing conversations that probably no one other than Tolstoy would have bothered to tell us about. It’s another reason why I am so glad that it is Tolstoy telling this story!!

  2. I was curious about that too; I asked somebody who’d read a little farther than I had – she’s read to the end of the book. She says the person is never mentioned again. We’re just left to wonder – it could have been a stranger who was just putting the ‘touch’ on them for money. Just taking his chances that the person who came to the door wouldn’t know.
    Ever go to a wedding and find somebody there that doesn’t seem to belong to the groom or the bride’s side?
    People have been known to do that – to show up, sit down and eat, drink all night and dance with everybody, then leave with nobody knowing who it was.

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