Natasha's mother, Countess Natalia Rostova, seems to dislike her daughter's affections for Prince Andrei when they meet again at his (eventual) deathbed. At this point in the story, she's also been consistently insistent that Sonya free her son Nikolai from their "betrothal" so that he's able to marry Andrei's sister, Princess Marya. The Countess's husband, Count Ilya, is himself becoming mentally infirm following their exodus from Moscow to object to her wishes. When Marya does manage to meet Andrei, he's on his last legs and she's a woman more inclined towards prayer than able to help her brother through medical help. This creates a unique situation where the Countess can subtly influence events so that once Andrei has died, Nikolai is able to inherit Marya's property and restore the Rostov family's fortunes. So, is there any indication or proof either directly in the text or other popular commentaries that the Countess causes the Prince's death through her negligence, deliberate or otherwise?


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