Anna Karenina

Historical context

The events in the novel take place against the backdrop of rapid transformations as a result of the liberal reforms initiated by Emperor Alexander II of Russia, principal among these the Emancipation reform of 1861, followed by judicial reform, including a jury system; military reforms, the introduction of elected local governments (Zemstvo), the fast development of railroads, banks, industry, telegraph, the rise of new business elites and the decline of the old landed aristocracy, a freer press, the awakening of public opinion, the Pan-Slavism movement, the woman question, etc. These contemporary developments are hotly debated by the characters in the novel.

The suburban railway station of Obiralovka where Anna committed suicide is now known as the town of Zheleznodorozhny, Moscow Oblast.


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