A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

by

Amor Towles

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The Grand Duke Demidov Character Analysis

The Count’s godfather and a former adviser to the Tsar. After the Count’s parents died when he was ten years old, the Grand Duke helped to raise the Count and gave him the advice that would help him the most in the future: that if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.

The Grand Duke Demidov Quotes in A Gentleman in Moscow

The A Gentleman in Moscow quotes below are all either spoken by The Grand Duke Demidov or refer to The Grand Duke Demidov. 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:

And when the Count's parents succumbed to cholera within hours of each other in 1900, it was the Grand Duke who took the young Count aside and explained that he must be strong for his sister’s sake; that adversity presents itself in many forms; and that if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.

Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Grand Duke Demidov Character Timeline in A Gentleman in Moscow

The timeline below shows where the character The Grand Duke Demidov 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
...him, all of his books, and his desk, given to him by his godfather, the Grand Duke . (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...Marina. He sits at his desk, which had been left to him by his godfather, Grand Duke Demidov . The Grand Duke had become a substitute father for the Count and his sister... (full context)
Book 1, Archaeologies
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Mishka picks up a photo on the Count’s bookcase, which contains a picture of the Grand Duke when he signed the treaty that ended the Russo-Japanese War. He thinks back to 1910,... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...When the twice-tolling clock strikes twelve, Mishka and the Count toast not only to the Grand Duke but also to Helena and the Countess, to Russia and the Rostov estate, to poetry... (full context)
Book 2, 1926, Adieu
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...Count remembers the first night of his house arrest, when he had thought about the Grand Duke’s advice to master his circumstances. But now he thinks of another story the Grand Duke... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...his bedroom. He takes the gold coin from his pocket and replaces it inside the Grand Duke’s desk. The following evening at six, when the Boyarsky opens, the Count walks through the... (full context)
Book 5, Achilles Agonistes
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...done in that span of time. The Count used one of the coins in the Grand Duke’s desk to buy a small tan suitcase and some toiletries as a Christmas gift for... (full context)