"Natasha threw off the shawl from her shoulders"

The following passage inspired the title of the British historian Orlando Figes' book Natasha's Dance. Tolstoy questions how the sheltered, Westernised Natasha could have instinctively picked up the ability to dance the traditional folk dances of Russia, and Figes draws on this to examine the way Russia was torn between celebrating innate Russian culture and the temptations of imitating Western Europe. Despite the recent controversy surrounding Orlando Figes, his book provides an good introduction to the history of Russian culture.