Moscow: Typ. T. Ris, 1878. In 3 volumes. V.1: Part 1-2. 369 pp.; V.2: Part 3-5. 493 pp.; V.3: Part 6-8. 413 pp. 19x12 cm. Each volume in publisher’s full cloth with gilt and blind stamping. In period styled half leather case. Near fine.
First separate edition. Very rare. One of 6000 copies.
In 1874 Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy (1828-1910) planned to print Anna Karenina as a separate book but because of the need to make substantial corrections in the
beginning of the work, he suspended the printing. At that time the text was almost ready for printing in M.N. Katkov’s printing house. The manuscript was passed on to the magazine ‘Russkii Vestni’k [i.e. Russian Herald] in which the novel was first published from 1875 to 1977.
During the time of publishing the novel went through a series of alterations and edits. Even though back in 1873 Tolstoy was sure that the novel is finished but it
is well known how often he rewrote how works over and over.
Owing to a political disagreement between Tolstoy and the journal’s publisher, Mikhail Katkov, over Serbian independence (Katkov and his journal were
in favour, and Tolstoy was against) the last part of the story was never printed. A complete edition (with the final part) was published in book form in 1878, but this was the only separate edition (that is, excluding collections and selections) during Tolstoy’s lifetime.