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Leo Tolstoy's evocative tale of doomed love—one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century.
Upon it's publication, Anna Karenina startled the world with its powerful portrayal of the human need for love and happiness weighed against the rigid demands of society. Its heroine, the sensual, rebellious Anna, renounces a respectable yet stifling marriage for an extramarital affair that offers a taste of passion even as it ensnares her in a trap for destruction. Her story contrasts with that of Levin, a young, self-doubting agnostic who takes a different path to fulfillment and finds faith and happiness in an age of repression.
Anna Karenina has been called Tolstoy’s spiritual autobiography. Anna and Levin personify his lifelong struggle to reconcile his physical desires and intellectual ideals in order to lead a more meaningful existence.
Translated by David Magarshack Includes an Introduction by Priscilla Meyer
About the Author
Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by an elderly aunt and educated by French tutors until he matriculated at Kazan University in 1844. In 1847, he gave up his studies and, after several aimless years, volunteered for military duty in the army, serving as a junior officer in the Crimean War before retiring in 1857. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. Yasnaya Polyana became a Mecca for his many converts. At the age of eighty-two, while away from home, the writer suffered a breakdown in his health in Astapovo, Riazan, and he died there on November 20, 1910.
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