New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1886. First American edition. A Very Good+ to Near Fine copy of the first translation into English (preceding the London issue). Slight wear to the spine ends and extremities, otherwise an excellent copy. Previous owner's bookplate on the front end paper. With the generally accepted first issue points: no other titles by the same author listed, publisher's monogram on the title page and with five pages of ads in the rear, starting with "Crowell's Red Line Poets," no translations of any Russian books listed, and with the correct end-papers.
Anna Karenina was originally published in parts in the Russian Messenger from 1873 to 1877. It first appeared in book form in 1878 with the English language translation coming out eight years later. Tolstoy himself thought that Anna Karenina – as opposed to War and Peace – was his first true novel.
Anna Karenina’s epic sweep encompasses Russian politics, philosophy and religion, and the challenges humans face as a result of their economic class. Yet what has earned the novel a lasting place in the literary canon is its complex representation of relationships between men and women. “Of all the nineteenth century novels written by men, Anna Karenina is the one most centrally concerned with women, the one which attempts most thoroughly and honestly to confront them in all aspects of their lives” (Greene). Regardless of their individual differences, Anna, Kitty, and Dolly are often punished for violating the contradictory expectations placed on them as wives, mothers, and lovers. “Tolstoy grasped that the same principles of behavior that shape men’s characters apply to women as well…but that a woman feels even more heavily than man the weight of social pressures which work on and warp her character” (Greene). A cornerstone of world literature.
Christian Science Monitor Top 10 Books of All Time. Very Good + (Item #4724)