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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, to whom Dimitri Pisarev regards Nikolai "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, acting as his second in a duel. 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 Dolokhov proposes to Sonya and is rejected, Nikolai is easily led to financial ruin and social humiliation by Dolokhov, who manipulates him into 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. In doing so he rejects Sonya's emotional attachments and her selfless desire to love in favour of the immediate and practical benefits of Maria's wealth.

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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16 news items

Toronto Star

Toronto Star
Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:56:15 -0700

Kaufman's other favourite is Nikolai Rostov, the eldest son of Count Ilya Rostov, one of Moscow's leading noblemen. Rostov is impetuous and hot-headed, keen to join the hussars to fight the invading French. Kaufman is seduced by Rostov's ability to ...
The Daily Progress
Mon, 19 May 2014 18:51:19 -0700

Ultimately, he would gain an appreciation for the stinging financial losses endured by Nikolai Rostov and Tolstoy, whose gambling debts as a young man cost him the home in which he was born. “I do break a lot of rules of literary criticism here ...
BBC News
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 22:45:00 -0800

Adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel. Two aristocratic Russian families face conflict and upheaval as the nation prepares itself for a huge invasion by Napoleon's forces. Count Pierre Bezhukov, an intellectual and a pacifist, is in love with the ...
Daily Beast
Sun, 21 Apr 2013 01:52:53 -0700

In battle scenes he was a master of anticlimax: perhaps the best-remembered moment in all of War and Peace is young Nikolai Rostov's first cavalry charge: knocked from the saddle by a bullet the bewildered 20-year-old turns tail: “They're not after me!
Wed, 29 Aug 2012 05:53:54 -0700

After the crash in his family fortunes, Nikolai Rostov moved to a much smaller house, which Tolstoy based on the little single-storey building nearby at 34 Sivtsev Vrazhek Pereulok, where he himself had lived briefly in 1850. There is a small plaque on ...
London Review of Books (subscription)
Thu, 01 Oct 2009 04:44:14 -0700

When Tolstoy, near the end of War and Peace, writes that Nikolai Rostov's mother, the countess, had been quiet during tea, and then, as everyone finished, suddenly stirred into irritable life, because she 'clearly wished to find a pretext for getting ...
Gazeta Russa
Mon, 23 Jun 2014 05:02:23 -0700

Alguns torcedores, como Nikolai Rostov, estavam desesperados à procura de um ingresso na última hora. “Cheguei hoje mesmo com 13 amigos. Está faltando um ingresso”, disse. Segundo ele, o Rio de Janeiro foi amor à primeira vista. “Faz calor, o ...
London Review of Books (subscription)
Wed, 22 Apr 2009 13:07:47 -0700

Nikolai Rostov stands on a wooden bridge, in the heat of battle, and there is a sound 'as if someone has spilled nuts'. A man has fallen down beside him. But Tolstoy's estrangements are often on the order of moral correction or readjustment; they open ...

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