Towering over the other characters, Tolstoy’s beautiful tragic heroine, Anna Karenina, dominates the action of the great book which bears her name. Anna is sensitive, generous, warm-hearted and intelligent, but all her virtues count for nothing when she is overcome by passionate love for Count Vronsky. Handsome and sensual, Vronsky is everything Anna’s dry, legalistic husband is not. Their love, which flouts the rigid laws of marriage, proves disastrous. Russian high society will not forgive their breach of convention and ultimately, ostracised and humiliated, Anna seeks only oblivion.