A Year of War and Peace+ Day 52

In which a letter arrives from Nicholas, we spend some time with Sonya and Natásha and we see that man is not made rich by money

Brian E. Denton
11 min readSep 8, 2021


Welcome! New readers may find an introduction to A Year of War and Peace+ and a table of contents here. Please consider following me on Medium. I publish essays on diverse topics, but mostly on books and film.

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War and Peace — Book One, Part Three

Chapter Six

It was long since the Rostóvs had news of Nicholas. Not till midwinter was the count at last handed a letter addressed in his son’s handwriting. On receiving it, he ran on tiptoe to his study in alarm and haste, trying to escape notice, closed the door, and began to read the letter.

Anna Mikháylovna, who always knew everything that passed in the house, on hearing of the arrival of the letter went softly into the room and found the count with it in his hand, sobbing and laughing at the same time.

Anna Mikháylovna, though her circumstances had improved, was still living with the Rostóvs.

“My dear friend?” said she, in a tone of pathetic inquiry, prepared to sympathize in any way.

The count sobbed yet more.

“Nikólenka… a letter… wa… a… s… wounded… my darling boy… the countess… promoted to be an officer… thank God… How tell the little countess!”

Anna Mikháylovna sat down beside him, with her own handkerchief wiped the tears from his eyes and from the letter, then having dried her own eyes she comforted the count, and decided that at dinner and till teatime she would prepare the countess, and after tea, with God’s help, would inform her.

At dinner Anna Mikháylovna talked the whole time about the war news and about Nikólenka, twice asked when the last letter had been received from him, though she knew that already, and remarked that they might very likely be getting a letter from him that day. Each time that these hints began to make the countess anxious and she glanced…



Brian E. Denton

For my friends and family, love. For my enemies, durian fruit.