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TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Anna Karenina. Moscow: T. Ris, 1878.
TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Anna Karenina. Moscow: T. Ris, 1878.
TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Anna Karenina. Moscow: T. Ris, 1878.
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TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Anna Karenina. Moscow: T. Ris, 1878.

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TOLSTOY, Leo (1828-1910). Anna Karenina. Moscow: T. Ris, 1878.

The first edition of Tolstoy's masterpiece, in a contemporary cloth binding. 'As art it is perfection', declared Dostoevsky, who felt that there was nothing in European literature that could be compared with Anna Karenina (quoted in Simmons); Thomas Mann thought it 'without equal'. RBH and ABPC record no copy of Anna Karenina in contemporary cloth having been offered at auction. Tolstoy's second great novel was serialized in Ruskii Vestnik from 1873 to 1878, but a clash between its editor Mikhail Katkov and Tolstoi prevented publication of the final installment. This first edition marks the first appearance of the complete text. Kilgour 1196; Simmons, pp.340, 346-7.

Three volumes, octavo (214 x 140mm, with some deckle edges). With the final blank in volumes 2 and 3 (light scattered spotting; margins with occasional light soiling and occasional light staining). Contemporary decorative red cloth by V. Kiun with his printed label in the first volume; front covers with a large decorative block in gold, black and red; foliate border in black on the front covers and in blind on the back covers; spines titled and tooled in gilt; plain endpapers (spine of volume 1 faded and with repairs at the spine ends and along the lower joint; front hinge starting; some staining; extremities rubbed).
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