Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy

Illustrated by Angela Barrett

Introduced by Helen Dunmore

Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude

A high-society scandal rocks Moscow and St Petersburg in Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece Anna Karenina. Angela Barrett illustrates this beautiful Folio collector’s edition, which is introduced by Helen Dunmore. 

‘Tolstoy towered above his age as Dante and Michelangelo and Beethoven had done.’
  1. Sir Kenneth Clark

A simple and timeless story of a woman embarking on a passionate affair, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is widely regarded as one of the greatest love stories in literature. This beautiful Folio edition is a collector’s treasure that will be enjoyed by generations to come. Featuring the celebrated translation by Louise and Aylmer Maude, the cloth-bound book is illustrated with 14 of Angela Barrett’s atmospheric colour drawings and is introduced by award-winning poet and novelist Helen Dunmore. 

From as early as 1870 Tolstoy had the idea of writing about a married woman of high society who lapses morally, but it wasn’t until he was moved by the suicide of a neighbouring landowner’s mistress that the author of War and Peace embarked on what would be his second great masterpiece.

Quarter-bound in buckram with blocked and printed cloth sides

Set in Ehrhardt with Bulmer display

Frontispiece and 14 full-page colour illustrations

768 pages

Plain slipcase

9½˝ × 6¼˝ 

Angela Barrett captures the characters’ emotional journeys, the splendour of the grand estates and the rawness of unforgiving Russian winters in 14 full-page colour illustrations, as well as creating a striking binding and endpaper designs. Bound in buckram and cloth, this collector’s edition of Tolstoy’s epic novel is further embellished with beautiful gold page tops. English translators Louise and Aylmer Maude were personal friends of Tolstoy, and their 1918 translation remains highly regarded. Here, it is introduced by poet and novelist Helen Dunmore. Winner of the Costa Book Award, Dunmore celebrates Tolstoy’s ‘profound and poetic’ novel, which sees him push the experiences of his female protagonist to the fore: ‘Her thoughts and feelings, her sensuous life and her inner existence, are far more memorable than Vronsky’s’.

Anna’s tale is universal; bored by her calculating husband and eager to experience life, rather than read about it in books, she falls in love. In Moscow and St Petersburg, such scandals are the stuff of gossip – not tragedy – but Anna refuses to play society’s game. Hers is a high passion and, though she tries to insist that her lover, Count Vronsky, shares it, he begins to dread the very word ‘love’ and to hanker after simpler pleasures. Anna’s ruinous affair is set against the backdrop of stories of other liaisons and marriages, as well as Tolstoy’s portrait of Russia in the latter part of the 19th century: drawing rooms, racetracks, officers’ clubs, forests and dachas are depicted in all their seductive glory as the setting for Anna’s doomed romance.  

Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 at his aristocratic family’s Russian estate, Yasnaya Polyana. Following the death of his mother when he was two and his father when he was nine, Tolstoy was brought up by relatives, along with his four siblings. In 1844 he began studying law and languages at Kazan University but left midway through his studies and began writing, publishing his first novel, Childhood, in 1852. This new career was interrupted when he served as an officer in the Crimean War and subsequently travelled around Europe, where his passion for writing resumed. Considered one of the greatest Russian novelists, he is best remembered for his works War and Peace (1867) and Anna Karenina (1877). Tolstoy died in 1910, aged 82. 

Louise Maude (born 1858) and Aylmer Maude (born 1855) met in Moscow and were married there in 1884. The English couple spent a number of years living in Russia and worked together translating the works of Leo Tolstoy. As friends of the author, they would pay him regular visits and got to know him well over the years. On moving to England, Aylmer Maude continued to correspond with Tolstoy and, during a visit to Russia in 1902, he was authorised to write his biography. 

Helen Dunmore (1952–2017) was a British poet, novelist and children’s writer. Her novels include A Spell of Winter (1995), winner of the inaugural Orange Prize for Fiction, The Siege (2001), shortlisted for both the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, and The Betrayal (2010), shortlisted for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Orwell Prize. Her poetry collections include The Sea Skater (1986), winner of the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award, and The Raw Garden (1988), a Poetry Book Society Choice. Dunmore’s poem The Malarkey won the 2010 National Poetry Competition. Dunmore’s critical work includes introductions to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and A Confession. She was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The last novel published before her death in 2017 was Birdcage Walk (2017), which was longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize.

Angela Barrett is a writer and illustrator – using watercolour, gouache, coloured pencils and ink – who studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art. She has illustrated a number of picture books and children’s novels and is particularly well known for her work on fairy tales. One of Britain’s most respected illustrators of children’s books, she is the winner of a WH Smith Illustration Award and a Smarties Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Barrett has taught illustration at Cambridge College of Technology and drawing at Chelsea College of Arts. She has illustrated Dracula and Anna Karenina for The Folio Society.


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