War and Peace

War and Peace

by

Leo Tolstoy

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Prince Vassily is a frequent guest at Anna Pavlovna Scherer’s Peterburg soirées. He is a shameless social climber, always looking to exploit relationships for his and his children’s gain. Though his plans aren’t usually premeditated, he feels entitled to wealth and success. He’s related to Count Bezukhov through his wife and tries to gain the Count’s inheritance that way, but when he fails, he manipulates Pierre Bezukhov into marrying his daughter Hélène instead. His other children include Anatole (whom he tries to match with Princess Marya Bolkonsky) and Ippolit. In 1812, he flits between pro-French and pro-Russian salons.
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Prince Vassily Kuragin Character Timeline in War and Peace

The timeline below shows where the character Prince Vassily Kuragin 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
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...July 1805, Anna Pavlovna Scherer throws a party. In French, she greets her first guest, Prince Vassily , begging him to tell her that Russia is now at war with “that Antichrist,”... (full context)
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Anna Pavlovna and Prince Vassily chat about society events and about the emissary Novosiltsov. The prince tells Anna Pavlovna that... (full context)
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...country, especially not England, understands the motivations of their virtuous Emperor. As they have tea, Prince Vassily asks Anna Pavlovna, with pretend nonchalance, about a political appointment in Vienna which he’s been... (full context)
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They discuss Prince Vassily ’s other children, especially his two problematic sons, foolish Ippolit and troublesome Anatole. Anna Pavlovna... (full context)
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More members of the Petersburg nobility arrive for the party, including Princess Lise Bolkonsky and Prince Vassily ’s son Ippolit. Princess Bolkonsky, beautiful and aglow with her pregnancy, charms everyone, especially the... (full context)
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...Anna Pavlovna summons the other guests to hear the Viscount’s perspective. The beautiful Princess Hélène, Prince Vassily ’s daughter, draws everyone’s admiration as she sits before the Viscount. Princess Bolkonsky and Prince... (full context)
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...serves. Pierre talks with Bolkonsky, and they admire Princess Hélène as she and her father Prince Vassily excuse themselves to leave. Before he goes, Prince Vassily asks Anna Pavlovna to “educate this... (full context)
Before Prince Vassily can leave, an older lady, Princess Drubetskoy, grabs his arm in the hall and pleads... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 5–6
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...Lise leaves, she quietly plans with Anna Pavlovna to match her sister-in-law Marya with Anatole, Prince Vassily ’s son. Prince Ippolit gets in everyone’s way as he says goodbye to the Princess.... (full context)
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...who idealizes Andrei, is shocked. Andrei urges Pierre to stop leading a dissolute life with Prince Vassily ’s sons, and Pierre agrees. (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... (full context)
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...gossip that when Count Bezukhov dies, his fortune will go either to Pierre or to Prince Vassily , who’s related to the Count through his wife; the Count himself has no legitimate... (full context)
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...while Nikolai will be a mere junker. Anna Mikhailovna proudly tells her how she solicited Prince Vassily , forgetting how humiliating it was. But she starts crying as she tells the countess... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 12–13
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...the Count is too ill to receive anyone, but Anna Mikhailovna gets him to summon Prince Vassily , who’s currently staying there. Though the Prince indicates that Count Bezukhov is on his... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 18–21
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...stretches into the night, Count Bezukhov suffers his sixth stroke. A group of people, including Prince Vassily , begin congregating at Bezukhov’s house, anticipating his death. While everyone waits, Prince Vassily goes... (full context)
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Prince Vassily and Catiche must speak to Count Bezukhov about it before he dies. Catiche blames Princess... (full context)
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...decides he’d better surrender to everyone else’s guidance so that he doesn’t do anything foolish. Prince Vassily comes in and tells Pierre that the Count has suffered another stroke. Everyone rushes into... (full context)
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...in bed in the shadow of candle-lit icons while the clergy administer extreme unction. Besides Prince Vassily , Anna Mikhailovna, and the household staff, the princesses (his cousins) are also there. At... (full context)
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...the younger princess runs out of the bedroom, saying that the Count is now dying. Prince Vassily follows soon after, crying as he tells Pierre that “everything ends in death.” The next... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapter 22
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...changed overnight. In the meantime, Princess Anna Mikhailovna is scheming to marry off Marya to Prince Vassily ’s son Anatole. She closes by encouraging Marya to read the enclosed mystical book. (full context)
Volume 1, Part 3: Chapters 1–5
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Prince Vassily isn’t someone who thinks through his plans in advance, and he certainly doesn’t intend to... (full context)
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In the aftermath of Count Bezukhov’s death, Prince Vassily spends all his time guiding the hapless Pierre. Pierre’s harried new life is much the... (full context)
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In November, Prince Vassily has to go on a business trip, including a visit to Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky, in... (full context)
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...a small group of friends and relatives—all of them expecting an imminent marriage proposal—gather at Prince Vassily ’s. The company laughs and talks happily, all the while eyeing the bashfully smiling couple... (full context)
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At last Prince Vassily , frustrated, walks right up to Pierre and Hélène and congratulates them on their engagement,... (full context)
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In December, Prince Vassily takes his son Anatole on a visit to Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky. Prince Nikolai has always... (full context)
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Prince Vassily , Anatole, and their party arrive in the evening. Anatole looks at all of life... (full context)
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At first Prince Nikolai pretends to listen to Prince Vassily ’s conversation, but then he abruptly gets up and confronts Princess Marya, scolding her in... (full context)
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That morning Prince Nikolai is unusually gentle with his daughter. He explains that Prince Vassily seeks Marya’s hand in marriage for Anatole. He sends her to her room to consider... (full context)
An hour later, when Princess Marya is summoned to her meeting with Prince Nikolai and Prince Vassily , she’s embracing Mlle Bourienne, who is weeping. She assures Mlle Bourienne that she doesn’t... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 2: Chapters 5–9
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...at home, reading and daydreaming about the new life he’s about to begin. Just then Prince Vassily comes in and tells Pierre that Hélène is completely innocent. He blames Pierre for his... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 3: Chapters 7–10
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...Pierre he’s being unjust to his wife in contradiction of Masonic vows. His mother-in-law ( Prince Vassily ’s wife) also wants to see him. Pierre realizes they’re all conspiring against him, and... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 5: Chapters 5–10
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...to act uncharacteristically cheerful towards a new guest, Anatole Kuragin. His mother warns Boris that Prince Vassily has sent Anatole to Moscow to marry Julie, so Boris hurries to Julie’s to propose. (full context)
Volume 2, Part 5: Chapters 11–13
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Anatole Kuragin is living in Moscow because, back in Petersburg, Prince Vassily kicked him out. He’s spent over 20,000 a year in cash and accumulated the same... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 2: Chapters 6–12
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Prince Vassily is a mediating figure between the two circles, alternating between his friend Anna Pavlovna’s and... (full context)
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After hearing this news, Prince Vassily shows up at Anna Pavlovna’s salon. When he praises the appointment, a distinguished gentleman reminds... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 3: Chapters 5–9
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...care how she looks is Marya Dmitrievna Akhrosimov, who denounces Hélène’s behavior in crude terms. Prince Vassily just tells Hélène to follow her heart. (full context)
Volume 4, Part 1: Chapters 1–3
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...which was written on the occasion of sending the emperor an icon of St. Sergius. Prince Vassily will perform the reading, as he’s considered especially gifted at this. Anna Pavlovna invites some... (full context)
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The last of the guests arrives, so Anna Pavlovna tells Prince Vassily to begin his reading. The metropolitan’s letter refers to France as “the brazen and insolent... (full context)
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...victory at Borodino. For the rest of that day, Petersburg is in a celebratory mood. Prince Vassily boasts that he always knew Kutuzov could beat Napoleon. But when the following day brings... (full context)
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...the surrender of Moscow to the French. Now Kutuzov is regarded as a traitor. Even Prince Vassily , grieving his daughter Hélène, now says that nothing else could have been expected from... (full context)