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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 2, Part 2, Chapter 8 Summary

  • When the war heated up again, Prince Bolkonsky was put in charge of militia conscription in his area. He’s been totally psyched by the assignment and is energetically traveling all over.
  • Meanwhile, Marya helps take care of her nephew, baby Nikolai, who is still nursing (wet nurse-style, like all the rich babies back in the day).
  • Andrei has gotten his inheritance already and lives in a nearby estate, building and doing stuff there – mostly because he doesn’t get along with his dad.
  • He has decided never to go to war again.
  • For the past three days, he’s been with the baby 24/7. Nikolai is sick with a fever that isn’t breaking.
  • It’s stressful, and he and Marya are sniping at each other over whether to wake the baby and give him medicine or to just let him sleep. Medicine it is.
  • Andrei gets a letter from his dad telling him about a victory that the Russian army has just won over Napoleon and demanding that he immediately go yell at some nearby militia commander.
  • Andrei gets mad and is all, um, no, my kid is sick, and I’m not doing this until he gets better. This might officially make him the first literary character to experience work/life balance issues.
  • Then he starts reading a letter from Bilibin, mostly as a distraction from being so crazy stressed about the baby.

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