Anatole Kuragin

Anatole Vasilyevich Kuragin (Russian: Анатолий (Анатоль) Васильевич Курагин) is a fictional character in Leo Tolstoy's 1869 novel War and Peace,[1] its various cinematic adaptations, and an operatic adaptation as well.[2]

Anatole Kuragin
War and Peace character
War and peace5.jpg
Created byLeo Tolstoy
Portrayed byVittorio Gassman
Vasily Lanovoy
Colin Baker
Callum Turner
Lucas Steele
Gabriel Leone
Ryosei Konishi
In-universe information
Full nameAnatole Vasilyevich Kuragin
NicknameTolya, Toto
FamilyVasily Kuragin (father)
Hélène Kuragina (sister)
Hippolyte Kuragin (brother)
SpouseUnknown Polish Woman
Significant otherHélène Kuragina
Natasha Rostova Fyodor Dolokhov
RelativesCatiche Bezukhova (cousin), Pierre Bezukhov (cousin and brother in law)
ReligionRussian Orthodox


Anatole is Hélène Kuragina's wild-living brother and a soldier, although he is rarely seen out of Russia in the book. It is rumoured that he has had an incestuous affair with his sister, and he tries to elope with Natasha Rostova despite being secretly married to a Polish woman during his time in the army. Later in the book, he gets his leg amputated at the Battle of Borodino, where he is treated next to Andrei Bolkonsky, Rostova's former betrothed.


While developing the novel, Tolstoy sketched a character named "Petr", "who passed through a complex evolution" and "was a precursor of both Pierre and Anatole Kuragin".[3] Anatoly Shostak served as the real life inspiration for the fictional Anatole.[4]


Esther Polianowsky Salaman writes that what "is so interesting about Anatole Kuragin are the many characteristics Tolstoy gives us about him all at once: something he seldom does".[5]

Screen portrayalsEdit

Anatole is played in the 1956 American film by Vittorio Gassman;[6] in the 1966-67 Soviet film, by Vasili Lanovoy;[7] in the 1972-73 BBC miniseries, by Colin Baker.[8] In the 2007 version, he is portrayed by German actor Ken Duken, and in the 2016 BBC series by Callum Turner. He was also portrayed by Lucas Steele, in the musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Marianne Sturman, War and Peace: notes (Cliffs Notes, 1967), p. 14.
  2. ^ The role is sung by a tenor. See Giorgio Bagnoli, Graham Fawcett, and Teatro alla Scala, The La Scala Encyclopedia of the Opera: A Complete Reference Guide (Simon and Schuster, 1993), p. 366.
  3. ^ Kathryn Beliveau Feuer, Robin Feuer Miller, and Donna Tussing Orwin, Tolstoy and the Genesis of "War and Peace" (Cornell University Press, 1996), p. 60.
  4. ^ Cynthia Asquith, Married to Tolstoy (Greenwood Press, 1969), p. 61.
  5. ^ Esther Polianowsky Salaman, The Great Confession: from Aksakov and De Quincey to Tolstoy and Proust: From Aksakov and De Quincey to Tolstoy and Proust (Allen Lane, 1973), p. 106.
  6. ^ Rachel Moseley, Growing Up with Audrey Hepburn: Text, Audience, Resonance (Manchester University Press, 2002), p. 233
  7. ^ Frank Northen Magill, Magill's Survey of Cinema, Foreign Language Films (Salem Press, 1985), p. 3327
  8. ^ "Before They Were Time Lords". BBC. Retrieved 2014-08-13.

External linksEdit