Coffee or tea being served.
Photo by Esther Avdokhina.

gen•til•i•ty jĕn-tĭl′ĭ-tē

n. The quality of being well-mannered; refinement.
n. The condition of being born to the gentry.
n. Persons of high social standing considered as a group.

Given my current circumstances, I’ve begun to feel a bit like Count Rostov in A Gentleman in Moscow. That is to say, like “a former person.” I’m sure many people feel this way even when there isn’t a world-wide virus threatening.

Since I finished the novel last week I’ve been reflecting on how Rostov followed the behavioral rules of the gentry to maintain his sanity and steer his course through a social scene designed to trap him for any political missteps.

Rostov had the connections he made with guests of the Hotel Metropole. I have the internet.

I have had much less success at maintaining a gentlemanly standard than Rostov did.

Leave a Comment