'All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way'. "Anna Karenina" is a novel of unparalleled richness and complexity, set against the backdrop of Russian high society. Tolstoy charts the course of the doomed love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer who pursues Anna after becoming infatuated with her at a ball.
Although she initially resists his charms Anna eventually succumbs, falling passionately in love and setting in motion a chain of events that lead to her downfall. In this extraordinary novel, Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together the lives of dozens of characters, while evoking a love so strong that those who experience it are prepared to die for it.
About the Author
Leo Tolstoy was born in central Russia on 9 September 1828. In 1852 he published his first work, the autobiographical Childhood. He served in the army during the Crimean War and his Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6) are based on his experiences. His two most popular masterpieces are War and Peace (1864-69) and Anna Karenina (1875-8). He died in 20 November 1910.
"One of the greatest love stories in world literature" -- Vladimir Nabokov
"Tolstoy's historical and human sweep is breathtaking. His vision, humanity and his knowledge that love and pain are at the heart of life is the most important of all the profound truths revealed in this great novel" -- Jonathan Dimbleby
"In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy got totally inside the mind of a woman who is prepared to lose everything for the sake of man and who is so much in love that she commits suicide. I don't like her as a woman, but I think it is a brilliant portrait, unequalled in literature" -- Amanda Craig * Independent *
"I've read and re-read this novel and every time I find another layer in the story" -- Philippa Gregory
"I first read Anna Karenina 20 years ago when travelling across the Peruvian desert on a long bus journey, and it has stayed with me ever since" -- Hugh Thomson * Independent *