A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

by

Amor Towles

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the Count’s grandmother, who raises Helena and the Count after their parents pass away. When the Russian nobility is dissolved, the Count returns to his family estate from Paris in order to ensure her safe passage out of the country. The Count describes her as independent, authoritative, and impatient with pettiness.

The Countess Quotes in A Gentleman in Moscow

The A Gentleman in Moscow quotes below are all either spoken by The Countess or refer to The Countess. 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.
Book 1, 1922, An Ambassador Quotes

From the earliest age, we must learn to say good-bye to friends and family. […] But experience is less likely to teach us how to bid our dearest possessions adieu. And if it were to? We wouldn't welcome the education. For eventually, we come to hold our dearest possessions more closely than we hold our friends.

Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Countess Character Timeline in A Gentleman in Moscow

The timeline below shows where the character The Countess appears in A Gentleman in Moscow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, 1922, An Ambassador
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count points at what he wants to keep: two chairs, his grandmother’s coffee table, a set of her plates, two table lamps made from ebony elephants, a... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...the former Tsar had been executed by Bolshevik troops, the Count had feared for his grandmother’s life and returned to the family estate from Paris. He arranged passage for her out... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count and his grandmother (who had raised him since he was ten) parted without shedding a tear. They tried... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
After his grandmother left, the Count had loaded up a single wagon with their furniture, bolted the doors... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count unpacks a few more things, including his father’s twice-tolling clock and his grandmother’s opera glasses. At that moment, a pigeon taps and scratches at the single small window... (full context)
Book 1, An Assembly
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...the modern world. He thinks about the objects that have outlived their usefulness, like his grandmother’s opera glasses. As the Count ponders modernity, he takes one more look at the wall... (full context)
Book 1, Archaeologies
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...back to the summers when he would go to visit the Count’s family estate. The Countess enjoyed Mishka’s and the Count’s discourse questioning the standing of the church or the ruling... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...the Count toast not only to the Grand Duke but also to Helena and the Countess, to Russia and the Rostov estate, to poetry and any other worthy thing they can... (full context)
Book 1, Advent
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...fortunate he feels to have become Nina’s friend. He gives her a Christmas present: his grandmother’s opera glasses. She is surprised by this gesture, and admits to him that he knows... (full context)
Book 2, 1924, Anonymity
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...been a master of seating tables since he was fifteen. He used to help his grandmother plan her dinner arrangements, where considerations of various family feuds and eccentricities were essential. The... (full context)
Book 2, 1926, Adieu
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...concludes his story: after he injured the officer, he was sent to Paris by his grandmother as punishment. But while he was in Paris—exactly ten years ago—Helena had died of scarlet... (full context)