Title Profile & Character Information

Anna Karenina

Annotation
When beautiful, aristocratic, and married Anna falls madly in love with the dashing Count Vronsky, their affair shocks Russian society, tears her family apart, and leads, inevitably, to tragedy. Count Leo Tolstoy's epic story of passion, infidelity, vengeance, and retribution has held readers spellbound since it was first published in the late 1800s. Set against the fatal attraction of Anna and Vronsky, unfolding in perfect symmetry, is another love story: of the melancholy nobleman Constantin Levin and his devoted wife, Kitty. In doubt about the meaning of life, haunted by thoughts of suicide, Levin's struggles echo Tolstoy's own spiritual crisis. Filled with unforgettable characters, rich in history and social realism, "Anna Karenina" is a masterpiece of world literature, a story that fires the imagination and touches the heart.


Author Notes
  Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was born on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana in the Tula province. He studied Oriental languages and law at the University of Kazan but left before completing a degree. In 1851 he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus. He took part in the Crimean War and after the defense of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 he spent time in St. Petersburg and abroad before settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. In 1862 he married Sofya Andreevna Behrs; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy wrote two great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), as well as many short stories and essays.
Characters
NameKarenina, Anna
GenderFemale
TraitsMarried
Mother

NameKarenin, Alexi
GenderMale
TraitsMarried
Father

NameCount Vronsky
GenderMale

NameLevin, Konstantine
GenderMale
TraitWealthy

GenreClassic
Literary
Domestic
Love story
Sociological
Fiction
TopicsHusbands and wives
Infidelity
Scandal
Search for happiness
Social classes
Peasant life
Responsibility
SettingSt. Petersburg, Russia
Moscow, Russia
Russia