Countess Lydia was given in marriage when she was very young, and she genuinely loved her husband, but he left her inexplicably; they’re separated, though not divorced. Lydia falls in love with distinguished men all the time; now, she’s in love with Karenin. Lydia discovers that Vronsky and Anna are in Petersburg, but hides the fact from Karenin. Anna sends Lydia a letter asking Lydia to arrange a meeting between Anna and Seryozha. Lydia is irritated and tells the messenger that there is no reply. She arranges to speak with Karenin at the royal birthday reception.
Lydia preys on wealthy, distinguished men of society, sponging off their money and reputation. Lydia wants all of Karenin’s attentions to be focused on herself, not on Anna, so when Anna writes to Karenin through Lydia, Lydia doesn’t tell Karenin, as she wants to erase Anna from Karenin’s and Seryozha’s lives.