A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

by

Amor Towles

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on A Gentleman in Moscow can help.
A film actress and a lover of the Count’s. When the two meet in 1923, Anna is at the height of fame, having starred in several popular films. She initially makes a poor impression on the Count, but she invites him to dinner and quickly seduces him. Over the course of the novel, Anna has some major setbacks in her career when people start to see that most of her films celebrate old values of individualism and contain a lot of nostalgia for princes and princesses. Anna loses most of her possessions and her home, but she persists. Gradually, she is able to get small parts, often as a working woman who asks others to push on for the common good. This relaunches her film career until she gradually makes the transition to theater, demonstrating her ability to adapt to the attitudes of the time. Throughout this tumultuous period, Anna keeps up her romance with the Count whenever she visits the Metropol. The two take comfort in confiding in each other about the hardships they are experiencing in life, and their bond becomes deeper and more loving. Like other characters such as Mishka, Nina, and Sofia, Anna takes on a role that is more familial than friendly. When the Count escapes the hotel, he goes to see Anna, implying the immense value of their relationship to him.

Anna Urbanova Quotes in A Gentleman in Moscow

The A Gentleman in Moscow quotes below are all either spoken by Anna Urbanova or refer to Anna Urbanova. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of A Gentleman in Moscow published in 2016.
Afterword, And Anon Quotes

And there in the corner, at a table for two, her hair tinged with gray, the willowy woman waited.

Page Number: 462
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire A Gentleman in Moscow LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Gentleman in Moscow PDF

Anna Urbanova Character Timeline in A Gentleman in Moscow

The timeline below shows where the character Anna Urbanova appears in A Gentleman in Moscow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, 1923, An Actress, an Apparition, an Apiary
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Upon reaching the lobby, the Count notices a willowy figure (later introduced as Anna Urbanova) coming through the hotel doors. She is a woman in her mid-twenties with auburn... (full context)
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
At that moment, the one-eyed cat appears, and the dogs leap out of Anna’s grip. They quickly knock over a lamp and a standing ashtray. The cat reverses course... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Anna thanks the Count, apologizing that the dogs are not well-behaved. The Count contradicts her, saying... (full context)
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...hour later, the Count sits in the hotel bar waiting for Mishka when he notices Anna once again, sitting with a “round-faced fellow with a receding hairline.” He meets her gaze,... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...bar. As the Count gets up, Audrius beckons him and gives him a note from Anna Urbanova, who he explains is a famous film star. The note reads “Please allow me... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...and is let in by an older woman, who then steps out of the suite. Anna greets him and introduces herself officially. Room service arrives with a candlelit dinner for two.... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
Anna uncovers their dinner to find one of Emile’s signature dishes: whole bass roasted with olives.... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...was the apple capital of the world, and he would eat apples constantly. He tells Anna that according to lore, deep in the forest lies a tree that grew apples as... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...any of the events of the night. He had been surprised by the dinner, by Anna’s stories, and by her fish preparing skills, and the surprises continue. He is surprised to... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count closes the curtains, hangs Anna’s blouse in the closet, and shuts the door softly behind him. As he walks down... (full context)
Book 2, Addendum
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Anna had watched with satisfaction as the Count hung her blouse in the closet, but on... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Anna’s fury grows to the point where one night, returning from a party, she throws her... (full context)
Book 2, 1924, Anonymity
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
...But fewer tales have been told about invisibility as a curse. The narrator states that Anna cast just such a curse on the Count after their date in 1923. In the... (full context)
Book 3, Arachne’s Art
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...he finds the door open. He enters the suite and goes to the bedroom, as Anna Urbanova lets her dress slip to the floor. (full context)
Book 3, An Afternoon Assignation
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
The narrator exclaims in false wonder how the twisting paths of Anna and the Count could have led them back into each other’s arms. The narrator goes... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
The narrator goes back to 1923, the first time the Count met Anna. She had been an unambiguous celebrity, starring in two historical romances directed by Ivan Rosotsky... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
But at the premiere of Anna’s fourth film (in which she played a princess mistaken for an orphan), the audience noted... (full context)
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
When these sentiments were echoed in other papers, Anna tried to distance herself from the director, but her downfall was provided not by this... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
The Count had then seen Anna a second time, in November 1928, eight months after she lost her mansion. She reserved... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Disappointed, Anna turned from the door and instantly saw the Count. She invited him back to her... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...can either hide all evidence that one’s circumstances have changed; or, like the Count and Anna, one can join the “Confederacy of the Humbled.” The Count then asked Anna how the... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Over the following year and a half, Anna had visited the Metropol every few months, getting dinner with a director, but not inviting... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Due to one such dinner, Anna was cast in a small role as a middle-aged worker in a factory that was... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...a round-faced fellow with a receding hairline had been in attendance. He had once met Anna in the Metropol in 1923, but now he was a senior official in the Ministry... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
The narrator remarks that there were many factors within and without Anna’s control that contributed to her comeback, which is true of any successful person. And so,... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
At 4:45 in the afternoon, the Count traces the constellations on Anna’s back. He points out one that looks like Delphinus, the dolphin, between her shoulder blades.... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count asks Anna to tell a tale of the sea. She admits that she doesn’t know any, because... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Anna begins a tale about a rich merchant with a fleet of ships and three sons.... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...a ship with a bag of gold for every sack of salt. The Count tells Anna that her story is a good one, but that it does not absolve her of... (full context)
Book 3, Absinthe
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...haddock and mussels to the Metropol, and a favor had to be called in from Anna in order to get saffron. Now they have all fifteen ingredients necessary. (full context)
Book 3, Ascending, Alighting
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...he finishes, he realizes that it is already 3:15 and that he is late for Anna’s requested rendezvous. He dashes up the stairs to Anna’s room and apologizes that he will... (full context)
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...to the Kremlin. However, it will be noted that the Count has a relationship with Anna, who is also reportedly having an affair with a certain round-faced Commissar. Thus, it will... (full context)
Book 4, 1952, America
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...It is his night off, and they are ushered into the dining room by Andrey. Anna Urbanova is sitting at a nearby table with a few fans. Recently, she had been... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...play while they eat, so they put the tying round on hold. Sofia remarks that Anna is in the restaurant, and asks why the Count never invites her for dinner. The... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...states that Emile has outdone himself, once again hoping to change subjects. Sofia says that Anna thinks the Count is set in his ways. At this, the Count nearly coughs up... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
As the Count heads for the stairwell, he bumps into Anna. He tells her that he can’t believe that she and Sofia have been conversing behind... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Later in the evening, the Count lies in Anna’s bed, debating what he and Richard had spoken about. The Count says that if the... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
The Count comments that it sounds like Anna wants to live in America. She counters that everyone wants to live in America, if... (full context)
Book 4, 1953, Apostles and Apostates
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The study door swings open, and Anna bursts in with Sofia, declaring that Sofia has won the competition. Anna showers her with... (full context)
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
The Count, Anna, and Sofia quickly cut off their celebration when they hear a voice in the bedroom.... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...Count on this development, which makes him want to strangle the man. At that moment, Anna enters through the closet, surprising the men. Anna asks if Frinovsky knows comrade Nachevko (the... (full context)
Book 5, Adulthood
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count and Anna sit in the actress’s suite, waiting for the big reveal. Marina opens the bedroom door... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count and Anna compliment Sofia on how beautiful she looks. Sofia spins in delight, and the Count sees... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Anna and the Count walk down the hallway after the fitting. Anna asks the Count why... (full context)
Book 5, An Announcement
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...impressive demonstration of political power, a few of Moscow’s citizens are inconvenienced by this outage. Anna and her fellow actors performing The Seagull improvise when the lights go out. Two waiters... (full context)
Book 5, Anecdotes
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...found on the fourth floor and thrown out the window, followed by the story of Anna throwing her own clothes out the window. (full context)
Book 5, Apotheosis
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...has a pair of high heels. Dumping her old clothes in the trash (but keeping Anna’s necklace), she heads toward the back of the building and leaves barefoot. (full context)
Afterword, And Anon
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...at the back. There in the corner, at a table for two, a “willowy woman” (Anna) sits, waiting. (full context)