War and Peace

War and Peace

by

Leo Tolstoy

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Princess Lise (Liza) Bolkonsky (“the little princess”) Character Analysis

Lise or Liza Bolkonsky is Prince Andrei’s first wife, a young beauty who charms everyone. She is sensitive and quick to tears, and Prince Andrei can be impatient and downright scornful with her. She’s fearful of living in the country with Prince Andrei’s family while he’s away at war. She’s especially intimidated by her father-in-law Prince Nikolai, though she gets along well with her sister-in-law Princess Marya. Liza dies in March, 1806, while giving birth to Nikolushka. Prince Andrei arrives home just in time to watch her die, when he is seemingly ready to devote himself to his marriage and family. Long after Princess Lise dies, he’s tormented by the memory of her innocent suffering.

Princess Lise (Liza) Bolkonsky (“the little princess”) Quotes in War and Peace

The War and Peace quotes below are all either spoken by Princess Lise (Liza) Bolkonsky (“the little princess”) or refer to Princess Lise (Liza) Bolkonsky (“the little princess”). 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 2, Part 3: Chapters 1–6 Quotes

The old oak, quite transformed, spreading out a canopy of juicy, dark greenery, basked, barely swaying, in the rays of the evening sun. Of the gnarled fingers, the scars, the old grief and mistrust— nothing could be seen. Juicy green leaves without branches broke through the stiff, hundred-year-old bark, and it was impossible to believe that this old fellow had produced them. “Yes, it’s the same oak,” thought Prince Andrei, and suddenly a causeless springtime feeling of joy and renewal came over him. All the best moments of his life suddenly recalled themselves to him at the same time. Austerlitz with the lofty sky, and the dead, reproachful face of his wife, and Pierre on the ferry, and a girl excited by the beauty of the night, and that night itself, and the moon— all of it suddenly recalled itself to him.

Related Symbols: Oak Tree, Sky
Page Number: 423
Explanation and Analysis:
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Princess Lise (Liza) Bolkonsky (“the little princess”) Character Timeline in War and Peace

The timeline below shows where the character Princess Lise (Liza) Bolkonsky (“the little princess”) 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
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
...Andrei will be here tonight. Anna Pavlovna decides she will speak to the Princess’s sister-in-law, Lise (known as “the little princess”), tonight to try to arrange things. (full context)
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
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... (full context)
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
War and Peace Theme Icon
...a scheme for European peace—by drawing them both into the circle, too. Just then Princess Lise’s husband, Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, enters the room. He looks bored. (full context)
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...his war enlistment. Bolkonsky explains that General Kutuzov wanted him as an adjutant, and that Lise will stay with his family in the country while he serves. Pierre talks with Bolkonsky,... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 5–6
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
...he arrived, yet his warm, sincere smile inclines everyone to forgive his missteps. As Princess Lise leaves, she quietly plans with Anna Pavlovna to match her sister-in-law Marya with Anatole, Prince... (full context)
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Princess Lise comes in, and Pierre changes the subject to the Princess’s impending departure for the countryside.... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapter 22
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
At Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky’s estate, Bald Hills, the young Prince Andrei and his wife, the little princess , are expected to arrive any day. Meanwhile, life on the estate carries on peacefully.... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 23–25
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
War and Peace Theme Icon
At dinner, Prince Nikolai joins Prince Andrei, the little princess , Princess Marya, Mlle Bourienne, and the Prince’s architect Mikhail Ivanovich, whom he’s invited mainly... (full context)
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
...notices the mocking expression that comes over his face. She encourages Andrei to sympathize with Lise, who’s not used to being isolated in the country. Andrei doesn’t reply to this, but... (full context)
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...princess wept after dinner, unhappy with her life. Prince Andrei says that he’s never reproached Lise for anything, but that neither of them is really happy. Princess Marya tells him that... (full context)
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...say farewell. Embarrassed, Andrei asks a favor—that Nikolai send to Moscow for a midwife, since Lise is fearful about giving birth. His father agrees and also gives Prince Andrei a letter... (full context)
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
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...his son away in an angry tone. When Prince Andrei says goodbye to his wife, Lise faints. After her brother goes, Princess Marya, supporting her sister-in-law, makes signs of the cross... (full context)
Volume 1, Part 3: Chapters 1–5
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
...Nikolai has always held a low opinion of Prince Vassily, and it doesn’t improve when the little princess hints about Prince Vassily’s unstated purpose in visiting. So on the day of the guests’... (full context)
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...an ugly, rich princess is no exception. Princess Marya waits nervously in her room until the little princess and Mlle Bourienne come in to check her appearance. Her friends subject Princess Marya to... (full context)
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
...into the room, she’s struck by Anatole’s beauty and comfortable self-assurance. Thanks to the talkative little princess and Mlle Bourienne, there’s lively conversation. Indeed, when the conversation turns to Paris, Anatole becomes... (full context)
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Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...long-cherished fantasy of being swept away by a Russian prince begins to revolve around Anatole. The little princess , despite her pregnancy, instinctively begins to flirt. Anatole enjoys all this immensely. As Princess... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 1: Chapters 7–9
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
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Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...if Andrei repented of his unbelief in God before he died. She goes to tell Liza the news, but the little princess is so happy about her baby’s approaching birth that... (full context)
European Culture vs. The Russian Soul Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...an icon, and prays. The whole house feels tense and watchful, but nobody talks about Liza’s labor. That night no one sleeps. (full context)
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Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...Marya and Andrei step out of the room as the contractions continue, listening helplessly to Liza’s groans. There’s one last, terrible cry, followed by the sound of a baby crying. Prince... (full context)
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Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...to his son’s neck and weeps. Three days later, the little princess’s funeral is held. Liza’s still face seems to say, “What have you done to me?” It makes Andrei feel... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 3: Chapters 1–6
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
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Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...take an active role in life again. He wonders why he ever believed otherwise. Even Lise’s’s portrait no longer seems to look at him reproachfully but cheerfully. He arrives in Petersburg... (full context)
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...his military reforms. His reputation as a liberal landowner precedes him, and the story of Lise’s death (and his own rumored death before that) gains sympathy for him. Everyone agrees that... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 3: Chapters 23–26
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...Julie that only religion can deliver people from life’s incomprehensible trials. She learned this from Lise’s death; five years later, she believes that her sister-in-law’s death was somehow an expression of... (full context)
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...in the category of women who could please Andrei, and anyway, she believes he mourns Lise too deeply to think of remarrying. Over the summer, however, Princess Marya receives an unexpected... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 1: Chapters 8–11
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
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...place and inhabitants haven’t changed, except that little Nikolushka has grown. He laughs just like the little princess used to laugh. Prince Andrei doesn’t realize, though, that Bald Hills has actually divided into... (full context)