We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 3, Part 1, Chapter 12 Summary

  • Nikolai gets a letter from his folks about Natasha, her illness, and how the marriage is off.
  • They write for him to come home, and he would, but he’s not about to leave the army right as the war is starting.
  • He writes a letter to Sonya telling her how much he loves her and how he’ll come home to marry her soon.
  • The regiment starts in Vilno, then retreats further and further back.
  • Nikolai is now a captain in the army and has an adjutant named Ilyin – kind of what Nikolai used to be for Denisov.  Ilyin is 16, has a man-crush on Nikolai, and tries to be just like him.
  • One night, another soldier is telling some story of war heroics, but Nikolai just gets annoyed listening to him because he knows that all war stories are exaggerations.
  • Instead he and Ilyin go to the tavern where the regimental doctor is staying – along with his young, pretty wife.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...