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.
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.
The empress appoints him as first secretary in Vienna, much to Prince Vassily’s chagrin (Vassily wanted his son to receive this important position).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An officer in the Semyonovsky regiment, known for his penchant for gambling and duels. He lives with Anatole Kuragin.
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.
The beautiful, enchanting youngest daughter of the Rostov family. She has several romances with men before finally marrying Pierre Bezukhov.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Countess Rostov’s cousin, a witty middle-aged bachelor.
An officer in the Semyonovsky regiment who marries Vera Rostov.
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.
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.
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.
The French doctor who takes care of Count Kirill.
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.
A captain in the Semyonovsky regiment.
A hussar cornet, one of Dolokhov's friends from St. Petersburg.
An adjutant in the Semyonovsky regiment.
An Austrian general who works with General Kutuzov on strategy.
Prince Andrei's roommate during the 1805 campaign.
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.
A low-ranking officer in the Pavlogradsky regiment who steals some money from Captain Denisov.
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.
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.
A real prince who participates in the 1805 and 1812 campaigns.
A French general.
A staff captain in Prince Bagration’s detachment. He is inept and works with the artillery. He impresses Prince Andrei with his friendly manner.
The steward at Bald Hills (the Bolkonsky estate).
A German general who develops the the plan for the battle of Austerlitz.
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.
A high-ranking Russian general. A real person with no relation to the author.
An officer who vociferously objects to Weyrother’s plan for the battle of Austerlitz.
The English Club's head chef.
The midwife who helps deliver Lise Meinen's son.
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.
A Polish count who serves as Pierre's sponsor in the Freemasons.
Prince Andrei's son, the younger Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky. Also called Nikolenka.
The Bolkonsky family's tutor.
A young boy who is part of the 'people of God,' an itinerant group of beggars taken in by Princess Marya.
An elderly woman in the people of God.
A Pole raised in France. He rooms with Boris Drubetskoy at the emperors' meeting in Tilsit.
An officer who receives the French Legion of Honor from Napoleon after the peace treaty in 1807.
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.
A nobleman in St. Petersburg.
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 Naryshkin, a real person who was Tsar Alexander's mistress.
A hunter on the Rostovs' Otradnoe estate.
Pelageye Danilovna Melyukov
A noblewoman in St. Petersburg who holds a party attended by the Rostovs.
A French doctor in Moscow.
A troika driver who often works for Dolokhov and Anatole Kuragin.
The envoy that Tsar Alexander sends to demand that Napoleon withdraw his troops from Russian lands.
A Polish general in the Russian army who competes with Kutuzov for power.
Nikolai Rostov's protegé in the hussars in the 1812 campaign.
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.
A German doctor’s wife who travels with the Pavlogradsky regiment. A flirt.
Pyotr Rostov's friend.
The headman at the Bolkonskys' country estate, Bogucharovo.
Princess Marya Bolkonsky’s childhood nurse who has remained a faithful servant to the family.
A jocular French officer whom Pierre saves from a gunshot in occupied Moscow.
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.
A simple, religious peasant-soldier whom Pierre meets when he's imprisoned by the French in Moscow.
A Russian general who leads one of the last offensives against the French in 1812.
A peasant soldier in Denisov’s band of partisans, known for his courage and his sense of humor.
A thoughtful man with whom Pierre has a discussion during the novel's first soirée.
A Freemason who helps initiate Pierre into the society.
A neighbor to the Rostovs, who is caught sending men to use their land illegally. He reciprocates by inviting them to his land.
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.
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.
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.
War and Peace Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for War and Peace is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Gradesaver has a complete study guide to help you with each of these questions. The study guide includes a plot summary, summaries and analysis for each chapter, as well as specific pages on characters, themes, ect. You can begin with the direct...
Just as it is often said that in every bad there is a good an every good there is a bad,so is war.War is a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.