War and Peace

War and Peace

by

Leo Tolstoy

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Boris Drubetskoy Character Analysis

Boris is Anna Mikhailovna Drubetskoy’s son. He serves in the Semyonovsky guards. He and Natasha have a mutual crush before he goes off to war, though he discourages Natasha from kissing him in secret and promises to propose to her after she turns 16. Boris is also Count Bezukhov’s godson, though he doesn’t get the inheritance his mother hopes for. Unlike his friend Nikolai, Boris is a career-minded young man who unabashedly positions himself for social connections and advancement every chance he gets. He and Natasha reunite when shes 16 and still like one another, but Countess Rostov dissuades him from pursuing Natasha further. Not long after, he starts courting the wealthier Julie Karagin instead, and they get married.

Boris Drubetskoy Quotes in War and Peace

The War and Peace quotes below are all either spoken by Boris Drubetskoy or refer to Boris Drubetskoy. 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:
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of War and Peace published in 2008.
Volume 1, Part 3: Chapters 6–9 Quotes

Rostov was a truthful young man, not for anything would he have deliberately told an untruth. He began telling the story with the intention of telling it exactly as it had been, but imperceptibly, involuntarily, and inevitably for himself, he went over into untruth. If he had told the truth to these listeners, who, like himself, had already heard accounts of attacks numerous times and had formed for themselves a definite notion of what an attack was, and were expecting exactly the same sort of account—they either would not have believed him or, worse still, would have thought it was Rostov’s own fault that what usually happens in stories of cavalry attacks had not happened with him. He could not simply tell them that they all set out at a trot, he fell off his horse, dislocated his arm, and ran to the woods as fast as he could to escape a Frenchman. […] They were expecting an account of how he got all fired up, forgetting himself […] how his saber tasted flesh, how he fell exhausted, and so on. And he told them all that.

Related Characters: Nikolai Rostov, Boris Drubetskoy, Berg
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire War and Peace LitChart as a printable PDF.
War and Peace PDF

Boris Drubetskoy Character Timeline in War and Peace

The timeline below shows where the character Boris Drubetskoy appears in War and Peace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 1–4
...Drubetskoy, grabs his arm in the hall and pleads for his help with her son Boris. She is desperate to get Boris a position with the guards, and she has no... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 7–11
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Prince Vassily does as he’d promised and speaks on behalf of Princess Drubetskoy’s son, Boris, securing him a spot in the Semyonovksy guards. In August, Princess Drubetskoy returns to Moscow... (full context)
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...and dark eyes. Even the prim guests can’t resist Natasha’s infectious laughter. Princess Drubetskoy’s son Boris, a lifelong friend of the Count’s eldest son Nikolai, comes in, too. At home among... (full context)
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...Nikolai remain in the room. The count tells a guest that, out of friendship with Boris, Nikolai has decided to leave the university and join the army, too—though the count is... (full context)
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Natasha runs to the conservatory and hides among the plants, waiting impatiently for Boris to find her. Soon after, Sonya comes in crying, followed closely by Nikolai. While Natasha... (full context)
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Back in the drawing room, the women talk. The countess wonders how Anna Mikhailovna got Boris a place in the guards, while Nikolai will be a mere junker. Anna Mikhailovna proudly... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 12–13
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As they drive to Count Kirill Vladimirovich Bezukhov’s, Princess Anna Mikhailovna tells Boris to be respectful toward his godfather. When they arrive, the porter tells them the Count... (full context)
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...chosen a career.) His cousins, the three young Bezukhov princesses, are cold toward him. When Boris comes in, he finds Pierre pacing his room, pretending he’s Napoleon in the act of... (full context)
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Pierre engages Boris in conversation about Napoleon’s Villeneuve expedition, but Boris isn’t familiar with the news. He tells... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 14–17
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...Mikhailovna comes back from Count Bezukhov’s, the Countess gives her the stack of money for Boris’s uniform, and the friends both weep. (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 18–21
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...been there, who knows what would have happened? The Count had promised not to forget Boris in his will; she hopes Pierre will fulfill his father’s wish. (full context)
Volume 1, Part 3: Chapters 6–9
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...roubles to outfit him for his promotion, to be mailed to Nikolai by way of Boris, who’s under the patronage of the grand duke Konstantin Pavlovich (the Emperor’s younger brother). (full context)
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On November 12th, Nikolai gets a note from Boris, telling him about the note and money from his family. At the time, Kutuzov’s army... (full context)
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Nikolai and Boris admire the changes in one another and swap stories about their experiences—Nikolai’s life as a... (full context)
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Over wine, Berg and Boris animatedly tell Rostov about the joys of serving in the Grand Duke’s regiment. Then Boris... (full context)
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...front-line hussars; Rostov, in turn, scorns adjutants. Yet the latter blushes and falls silent as Boris talks to Bolkonsky. When Bolkonsky asks Rostov if he fought at Schöngraben, Rostov answers defensively,... (full context)
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The next day, Boris visits Bolkonsky in Olmütz, seeking an appointment to an adjutant position. He feels he’s in... (full context)
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After Prince Andrei deals with a report from a purple-faced general (who stares resentfully at Boris all the while), he takes Boris to the other room and says they’ll go together... (full context)
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Prince Andrei introduces Boris to Prince Dolgorukov, who’s part of the group that argued for the offensive. Dolgorukov excitedly... (full context)
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...Czartoryski, a young man whom Prince Andrei dislikes. Upon such men, Prince Andrei acknowledges to Boris, the fates of nations rest. Boris ends up staying with the Izmailovsky regiment for the... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 3: Chapters 14–19
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...preparing to attack the French. As smoke engulfs the field, he pushes onward.  He sees Boris, who’s exhilarated after coming under fire for the first time—the guards unexpectedly found themselves on... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 1: Chapters 1–6
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...longsuffering expression and offers to go to Bezukhov’s instead, since he has a letter from Boris. In pitying tones, she gossips about the countess Hélène’s rumored affair with Dolokhov, whom Pierre... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 2: Chapters 5–9
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...Hélène, Mortemart, Prince Ippolit, some diplomats, and others not yet well-known. One of these is Boris Drubetskoy, who’s currently serving as an adjutant to someone important and has just come from... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 2: Chapters 19–21
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...letter for the sovereign. On June 13th, Napoleon and Emperor Alexander are meeting at Tilsit. Boris Drubetskoy is also stationed there. Boris witnesses the two emperors greeting one another on a... (full context)
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During the stay in Tilsit, Boris rooms with a Polish adjutant named Zhilinsky who loves French culture. Boris and Zhilinsky host... (full context)
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...peace agreement and then attending a celebratory banquet. Rostov decides that if he can’t trust Boris, he’ll take matters into his own hands. He lingers outside Emperor Alexander’s quarters and, surprised... (full context)
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During the ensuing banquet, Boris notices the stormy expression on Rostov’s face. Rostov agrees to visit with Boris, but he... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 3: Chapters 7–10
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...to what happens in his wife’s salon and serves as a useful contrast to her. Boris Drubetskoy is one of Hélène’s most frequent guests. Hélène treats him like a child, and... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Pierre develops spiritually. Thanks to the journaling, he observes that he hates Boris deep down, even as he serves as rhetor for Boris’s reception into the Masons. He... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 3: Chapters 11–17
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Boris, Pierre, and Berg all become regulars at the Rostovs’ suppers. Since surviving a couple of... (full context)
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Natasha is now 16. Since she first kissed Boris four years ago, she hasn’t seen him once. She jokes about her childish promises with... (full context)
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Boris still thinks of Natasha as a mischievous little girl, so when he sees how she’s... (full context)
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...Unable to scold her daughter—they both treasure these nighttime chats—Countess Rostov agrees to talk about Boris. She can see that Natasha has “turned [Boris’s] head,” but she also knows that Natasha... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 3: Chapters 18–22
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...another as they try to entertain Pierre with competing conversations. As more guests arrive, including Boris and the Rostovs, the couple feels satisfied that their soirée is exactly like everyone else’s. (full context)
Volume 2, Part 5: Chapters 1–4
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...the other guests have gone, Pierre sits and talks with Marya. He warns her that Boris has come to Moscow with the express goal of marrying a rich wife, and he’s... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 5: Chapters 5–10
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Pierre is correct. Boris Drubetskoy did indeed come to Moscow in search of a rich bride; he’d failed to... (full context)
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...Mikhailovna attends the Karagins’ parties and gathers information about Julie’s properties, which she passes to Boris. Every day, Boris tells himself he’ll propose to Julie, but even though he pictures himself... (full context)
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At the Karagins’, Boris starts arguing with Julie about women’s inconstancy, but seeing her irritation, he rapidly shifts to... (full context)
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...them curiously, knowing Natasha is engaged to one of Russia’s most eligible men. Natasha spots Boris and Julie in their own box, evidently talking about her, with Anna Mikhailovna sitting radiantly... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 1: Chapters 1–7
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...rides and fireworks. Emperor Alexander dances with Countess Bezukhov as Napoleon’s army crosses into Russia. Boris Drubetskoy, now rich, is also there. (full context)
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While dancing with Hélène, Boris watches Emperor Alexander closely. He notices that Balashov, an adjutant general, receives some obviously important... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 2: Chapters 19–23
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In the middle of the crush of people, Boris Drubetskoy approaches Pierre. When Pierre explains his desire to take part in the battle, Boris... (full context)
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...and learns that his old enemy has been demoted to the ranks. As Pierre and Boris approach Kutuzov, Boris makes a pointed remark about the heroic militiamen and their readiness for... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 2: Chapters 30–35
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The next morning, Pierre wakes up in a corner of Boris’s cottage. The windows are rattling with gunfire, and almost everyone has left long ago. Pierre... (full context)