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Count Nikolai Ilyich Rostov (Николай Ильич Ростов Nikolaj Il'ič Rostov) is a character in Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace.

Brief background[edit]

Count Nikolai is the brother of Vera Rostova, Natasha Rostova and Petya Rostov. At the start of the novel, Nikolai is aged 20 and a university student. He gives up his studies in a zealous desire to serve his country as a Hussar in the fight against Napoleon's French invading forces. He dreams of manly success and glory in battle, although these dreams are somewhat undermined after he falls and is injured in a battle. Nikolai is initially easily influenced and acts out of emotional responses; unlike his childhood friend, the social climber Boris Drubetskoy, who writer Dimitri Pisarev regarded "as the complete antithesis".[1] He refuses to use his family's contacts to improve his rank in the army, and comes under the influence of the psychopathic Dolokhov, losing large amounts of money to him at cards. Nikolai promises to marry his cousin Sonya but on his first leave home he pays no attention to her, and regularly goes to visit a courtesan. When Nikolai's friend Dolokhov proposes to Sonya and is rejected, Nikolai is easily led to financial ruin and social humiliation by Dolokhov, who manipulates him into again losing a vast sum at cards. Despite Sonya's rejection of Dolokhov, Nikolai later rejects her to marry the rich but plain heiress Princess Maria.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A. V. Knowles, Leo Tolstoy: The Critical Heritage (Routledge, 1997), 114.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Rostov — Please support Wikipedia.
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118 news items

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Mon, 04 Jan 2016 18:08:44 -0800

One wrote on social media: '15 mins into #WarAndPeace and I'm not really having aristocratic Russians with British accents to be honest...' while another added: 'War And Peace, demonstrating Americans trying to use British accents to portray Russians...'.

Messenger Newspapers

Messenger Newspapers
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 04:13:00 -0700

Actor Jack Lowden, who played soldier Nikolai Rostov in the BBC's epic of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel War and Peace, will take the lead role and Jessica Brown Findlay, best known for playing Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV series Downton Abbey, has also ...

Radio Times

Radio Times
Sun, 03 Jan 2016 12:37:34 -0800

Nikolai Rostov (Jack Lowden). The reckless eldest son of the Rostov family, who seeks adventure on the battlefield against the French but brings his family to the brink of bankruptcy following a game of cards with Dolokhov. 25-year-old actor Lowden has ...

Marie Claire.co.uk

Marie Claire.co.uk
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 05:37:04 -0800

Fickle, brattish, spoiled, Nikolai Rostov (played by Jack Lowden) spent most of the series using his poor cousin Sonya's heart like a stress ball. He'd make soppy moon eyes across the drawing room at her, draw her into corridors and tell her they'd be ...

The Sun

The Sun
Tue, 05 Jan 2016 18:15:00 -0800

THE BBC's sexed-up version of Leo Tolstoy's War And Peace has hit our screens to rave reviews and more than six million viewers. But some fans are baffled by the complex plot and numerous characters. Hardly surprising really, since at 1,225 pages and ...

The Guardian (blog)

The Guardian (blog)
Sun, 24 Jan 2016 14:00:37 -0800

Oh dear, oh dear. It's all taken a very wrong turn. Emotionally, I mean. (Poor Prince Andrei and his forever opening-and-closing Austerlitz wound!) Narratively, directorially and aesthetically everything is still on top form. The strands are slowing ...

BBC News

BBC News
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:56:57 -0800

Millions of viewers in the UK will watch the last episode of the BBC drama War and Peace on Sunday. But far removed from TV screens in the UK, another very demanding audience will be closely watching too: in Russia, and in their thousands.


Fri, 18 Mar 2016 04:01:16 -0700

His upcoming films include Denial, with Rachel Weisz; Amma Asante's A United Kingdom; and Tommy's Honour with Peter Mullan. He recently played Nikolai Rostov in The Weinstein Co's War And Peace. He is repped by Conway van Gelder Grant and UTA.

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