Leo Tolstoy�s Anna Karenina was first published in serial instalments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. A canvas exploring a diverse array of themes�matrimony, politics, philosophy, altruism, adultery, religion and death, it is a masterpiece in realist fiction. Anna Karenina, a married aristocrat and socialite from St. Petersburg, falls in love with Count Vronsky, a suave military officer. Hemmed in by the laws of the Russian Orthodox Church, Anna is indecisive and anxious about leaving her husband and starting a new life with Vronsky. A social outcast,Anna is a voracious reader and detests fakery that she feels her husband epitomises. Unfortunately, with her growing suspicion of Vronsky�s fidelity, her affair brings her more misery than joy. Eventually, her paranoia leads her to taking her own life. �Flawless as a work of art� is how Fyodor Dostoyevsky described Anna Karenina.