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Anna Karenina is one of the most famous novels of all time. It was first published in 1877 and tells the story of Anna Karenina, a young woman from high society who falls in love with a soldier, and the romance between a young couple, Levin and Kitty. The novel offers an interesting glimpse into the religion and social situation of 19th-century Russia. Although the novel is not an autobiography, there are a number of interesting parallels between Tolstoi and the character Levin. About Leo Tolstoy. Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born in Russia in 1828. He is regarded not only as one of the most famous Russian writers of the past few centuries, but also one of the greatest authors of all time. His work has had an incredible influence on literature. Two of his most famous works are War and Peace and Anna Karenina, two novels which are often regarded as the embodiment of realist fiction. Moreover, he was not only a novelist – he also wrote several plays and a great number of philosophical essays. He had many revolutionary ideas on nonviolent resistance, which went on to influence such famous historical figures as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.