Reading for Sunday 8 March
Tolstoy returns to historian mode to deliver a resounding diatribe against the so-called commander-in-chief of Moscow. I don’t know for sure, but it sounds like he must have written his memoirs after the event to explain why he knew what was happening, because Tolstoy just dismantles any excuses he might have had for what happens.
But clearly, R. thought everyone would be happy to stay and fight the French. Clearly, he was in a distinct minority.
However, I think the point is that, it’s not just incompetent (in an amusing sort of way), because of Rastoptchin’s failure to mobilise the town, he was now leaving heaps of stuff behind to be looted and emptying convicts and madmen loose on the streets. Not a good state of affairs . . .