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War and Peace Characters

by Leo Tolstoy

Character List

Anna Pavlovna Scherer

An old maid of honor for the empress Maria Feodorovna, and one of Petersburg's most celebrated socialites. She loves to host soirées. Her friends sometimes call her Annette.

Prince Vassily Kuragin

The middle-aged patriarch of the Kuragin family. He is intelligent, calculating, and will go to great lengths to benefit his family. He is the father of Ippolit, Anatole, and Hélène.

Wintzingerode

General F.F. von Wintzingerode, a real general whom Alexander I sent to Prussia in 1805 in hopes of getting that country’s support in the war against Napoleon.

Baron Funke

The empress appoints him as first secretary in Vienna, much to Prince Vassily’s chagrin (Vassily wanted his son to receive this important position).

Ippolit Kuragin

Prince Vassily’s eldest son. Vassily calls him an “an untroublesome fool” (6) and he plays less of a role in the novel than his siblings do.

Anatole Kuragin

Prince Vassily's handsome, charismatic son. Despite his charm, he is a good-for-nothing whose main activity is seducing women.

Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky

An intelligent and wealthy middle-aged prince who lives in the country. He makes his family miserable with his stinginess and his eccentric ways. Father to Andrei Bolkonsky and Princess Marya.

Andrei Bolkonsky

One of the novel's primary characters, brother to Princess Marya and son to Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky. Also called Prince Andrei, Andryusha, or Andre. He is a fiercely moral and moody man who battles his desire to be part of the world and military against his desire to be left alone. Father to Nikolushka later, after his wife Lise dies.

Princess Marya Bolkonsky

Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky’s daughter, and brother to Prince Andrei. She is becoming an old maid and hopes to marry soon so that she can get away from her father. However, she is extremely pious and serious and enjoys an ascetic lifestyle.

Lise Meinen

Prince Andrei Bolkonsky’s wife. She is often referred to as Liza, “the young princess” or “the little princess.” She is not to be confused with Princess Marya Bolkonsky. Lise is pregnant at the start of the book and is known for her youthful prettiness.

Hélène Kuragin

Prince Vassily’s beautiful and delightful daughter. Sister to Anatole and Ippolit. She marries Pierre Bezukhov and becomes a famous socialite. Her Russian name is Elena Vassilievna, but she is almost always referred to as Hélène.

Mortemart

A French viscount who fled France during the Revolution and has lived in Russia ever since.

Princess Anna Mikhailovna Drubetskoy

An elderly, impoverished princess who constantly requests favors and money from the other characters in the novel. She does her best to provide for her son, Boris, despite her bad financial situation. She proves to be a skilled manipulator when she manages to ingratiate herself with both sides of the Bezukhov inheritance dispute.

General Mikhail Ilarionovich Kutuzov

A real, high-ranking general who became commander in chief of the Russian military when the war with France recommenced in 1812.

Dolokhov

An officer in the Semyonovsky regiment, known for his penchant for gambling and duels. He lives with Anatole Kuragin.

Boris Drubetskoy

Princess Drubetskoy's son, who is 18 at the start of the novel. He is friendly but a relentless social climber. A long-time friend of the Rostovs.

Natasha Rostov

The beautiful, enchanting youngest daughter of the Rostov family. She has several romances with men before finally marrying Pierre Bezukhov.

Nikolai Rostov

Also called Nikolushka, Nikolai is in his mid-twenties at the start of the novel. He is dreamy and romantic, but sometimes lacks common sense. He is particularly patriotic and much of the novel is concerned with his military career. Initially, he is romantically linked to his cousin Sonya Rostov but ends up marrying Princess Marya Bolkonsky instead. Brother to Natasha and Pytor.

Pyotr Rostov

Also called Petya and Petrusha. He is the rowdy youngest son of the Rostov family. He does not play much of a role in the novel until he volunteers for the military at fifteen and is tragically shot shortly thereafter.

Sonya Rostov

An impoverished, orphaned cousin who lives with the Rostov family. Natasha's closest confidante. She is a few years older than Natasha and has a self-sacrificing personality. She is in love with Nikolai Rostov and stands by him faithfully despite his bad treatment of her.

Vera Rostov

The eldest Rostov daughter. Despite being beautiful and well-mannered, she has a bitter personality.

Count Kirill Bezukhov

Pierre’s father, who is very sick at the beginning of the novel. His will is the subject of much speculation, since his massive estate might go to Pierre or to Prince Vassily.

Countess Rostov

The nervous, overly generous matriarch of the Rostov family.

Count Ilya Andreevich Rostov

The kind, elderly head of the Rostov family. He also serves as the marshal for the Bolkonskys' Ryazan estates.

Mitenka

A nobleman’s son who was brought up by Count Rostov. Now an adult, he manages the Rostov family’s finances.

Marya Dmitrievna Akhrosimov

A noblewoman with a reputation for “directness of mind and frank simplicity of manners” (59).

Shinshin

Countess Rostov’s cousin, a witty middle-aged bachelor.

Lieutenant Berg

An officer in the Semyonovsky regiment who marries Vera Rostov.

Julie Karagin

A pretty young heiress who competes with Sonya for Nikolai Rostov’s attention. Despite their similar surnames, she is not related to Prince Vassily. After her brothers die, she inherits all of her parents' estate and marries Boris Drubetskoy.

Pierre Bezukhov

One of the few main characters not associated with one of the novel's major families. A young heir whose quest for spiritual fulfillment is one of the novel's major plots. Until he gets his inheritance, he fails to impress society because of his absent-mindedness, his overweight stature, and his social awkwardness. However, he is well-meaning and thoughtful and enjoys intelligent conversation.

Princess Katerina Semyonovna Mamontov

Also known as Catiche. She is Prince Vassily’s cousin and cares for Count Kirill Bezukhov during his long illness.

Mlle Bourienne

Princess Marya’s companion, and a terrible flirt. She was living as an orphan on the streets when she was adopted by Prince Nikolai as a child.

Lorrain

The French doctor who takes care of Count Kirill.

Mikhail Ivanovich

The Bolkonksy family’s architect. Despite Mikhail’s low rank, Prince Nikolai often invites him to dinner to demonstrate his opinion that all men are equal.

Timokhin

A captain in the Semyonovsky regiment.

Zherkov

A hussar cornet, one of Dolokhov's friends from St. Petersburg.

Kozlovsky

An adjutant in the Semyonovsky regiment.

General Mack

An Austrian general who works with General Kutuzov on strategy.

Prince Nesvitsky

Prince Andrei's roommate during the 1805 campaign.

Captain Denisov

The squadron commander of the Pavlogradsky hussar regiment. Also known as Vaska Denisov. He is good at his job but has a gambling problem. When he goes home with Nikolai Rostov on leave, he falls in love with Natasha Rostov.

Lieutenant Telyanin

A low-ranking officer in the Pavlogradsky regiment who steals some money from Captain Denisov.

Lavrushka

An orderly for Captain Denisov.

Karl Bogdanovich Schubert

The commander of the Pavlogradsky regiment. He is also called Bogdanych.

Staff Captain Kirsten

A high-ranking officer in the Pavlogradsky regiment.

Bilibin

The Russian ambassador to Austria and a friend of Prince Andrei. Andrei stays with him in Brünn when he is acting as a courier in October, 1805.

Prince Bagration

A real prince who participates in the 1805 and 1812 campaigns.

Murat

A French general.

Captain Tushin

A staff captain in Prince Bagration’s detachment. He is inept and works with the artillery. He impresses Prince Andrei with his friendly manner.

Alpatych

The steward at Bald Hills (the Bolkonsky estate).

Weyrother

A German general who develops the the plan for the battle of Austerlitz.

Prince Dolgorukov

A military friend of Prince Andrei who helps get Boris Drubetskoy promoted in 1805.

Tsar Alexander I

The young emperor of Russia. Despite his youth, he has an invigorating effect when he reviews the troops. Tolstoy portrays him as deeply patriotic and sincere in his efforts to defend his people.

Count Tolstoy

A high-ranking Russian general. A real person with no relation to the author.

Langeron

An officer who vociferously objects to Weyrother’s plan for the battle of Austerlitz.

Feoktist

The English Club's head chef.

Marya Bogdanovna

The midwife who helps deliver Lise Meinen's son.

Iogel

A dancing instructor in Moscow who throws annual balls for his current and former students.

Osip Alexeevich Bazdeev

An elderly Freemason who inspires Pierre after they meet by chance at a posting house.

Count Willarski

A Polish count who serves as Pierre's sponsor in the Freemasons.

Savishna

Nikolushka's nanny.

Nikolushka

Prince Andrei's son, the younger Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky. Also called Nikolenka.

Dessales

The Bolkonsky family's tutor.

Ivanushka

A young boy who is part of the 'people of God,' an itinerant group of beggars taken in by Princess Marya.

Pelageyushka

An elderly woman in the people of God.

Count Zhilinsky

A Pole raised in France. He rooms with Boris Drubetskoy at the emperors' meeting in Tilsit.

Lazarev

An officer who receives the French Legion of Honor from Napoleon after the peace treaty in 1807.

Count Arakcheev

The Russian minister of war.

Mikhail Mikhailovich Speransky

The secretary of state and a counselor to Tsar Alexander. He is in charge of many domestic reforms.

Count Kochubey

A nobleman in St. Petersburg.

Magnitsky

The director of the commission on military regulations.

Marya Ignatievna Peronsky

Countess Rostov's friend in St. Petersburg. She is a retired lady-in-waiting who served the empress.

Marya Antonovna

Marya Antonovna Naryshkin, a real person who was Tsar Alexander's mistress.

Danilo

A hunter on the Rostovs' Otradnoe estate.

Pelageye Danilovna Melyukov

A noblewoman in St. Petersburg who holds a party attended by the Rostovs.

Métivier

A French doctor in Moscow.

Balaga

A troika driver who often works for Dolokhov and Anatole Kuragin.

Balashov

The envoy that Tsar Alexander sends to demand that Napoleon withdraw his troops from Russian lands.

Count Bennigsen

A Polish general in the Russian army who competes with Kutuzov for power.

Ilyin

Nikolai Rostov's protegé in the hussars in the 1812 campaign.

Count Rastopchin

A real person. He is a gentleman in the tsar's entourage who is in charge of Moscow during the 1812 war. He is brutal to the political prisoners under his charge, and famously tries to stop people from deserting the city.

Marya Genrikhovna

A German doctor’s wife who travels with the Pavlogradsky regiment. A flirt.

Obolensky

Pyotr Rostov's friend.

Dron

The headman at the Bolkonskys' country estate, Bogucharovo.

Dunyasha

Princess Marya Bolkonsky’s childhood nurse who has remained a faithful servant to the family.

Captain Ramballe

A jocular French officer whom Pierre saves from a gunshot in occupied Moscow.

Makar Alexeevich

Osip Bazdeev's mentally disabled brother-in-law. He lives in Moscow and tries to kill Captain Ramballe.

Anna Ignatyevna Malvintsev

Princess Marya's maternal aunt.

Platon Karataev

A simple, religious peasant-soldier whom Pierre meets when he's imprisoned by the French in Moscow.

Dokhturov

A Russian general who leads one of the last offensives against the French in 1812.

Tikhon

A peasant soldier in Denisov’s band of partisans, known for his courage and his sense of humor.

abbé Morio

A thoughtful man with whom Pierre has a discussion during the novel's first soirée.

Smolyaninov

A Freemason who helps initiate Pierre into the society.

Ilagin

A neighbor to the Rostovs, who is caught sending men to use their land illegally. He reciprocates by inviting them to his land.

Pfuel

A general who seems committed to winning the war, where the others are more interested in themselves. Seen in the meeting with Andrei, the tsar, and other generals.

Vereshchagin

A Moscow businessman who is offered to the crowds by Rastpochin so that the latter can protect himself from the crowd's ire. Blamed for a small crime, but devoured by the mob nevertheless.

Napoleon

The real French general and emperor who led the campaign across Europe that is finally ceded when he fails to push past Moscow. Presented by Tolstoy sometimes from an objective distance, and sometimes as a fully-drawn human with feelings and complications.

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