Moments of Truth
In a celebrated passage in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, a girl is dancing – a young girl not yet out of her teens. She is an aristocrat, a countess from St Petersburg, and she is visiting the village home of a distant relative whom she calls her uncle. He is a jovial character who lives with a serf woman, Anisya, who has prepared a rustic banquet for the hunting party. The girl is Natasha, the heroine of Tolstoy’s novel.