Works by Leo Tolstoy


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Name Year About Genre
Greek Teacher Socrates [download] (“Греческий учитель Сократ”) 1885 A wonderful legend in which Tolstoy describes heart-touching life of Socrates as a wise honest man, a teacher of morality, great example for a person’s search for true meaning of life. Fiction
Flow of Water [Download] (“Течение воды”) 1886 In this parable, Confucius compares his teaching with a flow of water, which was flowing for us from the beginning of the world, without stop. And so we should pass the teaching we received to our descendants, and so on, until the end of the world. Fiction
Time to Come to Your Senses! [Download] “Пора опомниться!”) 1888 If those who sell alcohol conspire against many and want to make the rest people in the world drunk, then it’s time for rational people to understand that they need to unite and fight the evil, so that wicked people wouldn’t be turning them and their children into drunkards. It’s time to come to your senses! Nonfiction
An Appeal [download] (“Воззвание”) 1889 Lev Tolstoy appeals to all people to stop, re-think the way they live, and to choose that life which gives actual blessing and leads to it. Nonfiction
Too Expensive [download] (“Дорого стоит”) 1890 This true story, based on a tale by Guy de Maupassant, is about a murder was committed in Monaco king’s domain. They condemned the criminal to have his head cut off but didn’t have a guillotine nor an executioner. To borrow a machine was too expensive. They decided to sentence him for life. Gave him a guard to keep & bring food. It came out not cheap, either. They decided to get rid of him. He said he had nowhere to go & it wasn’t fair. They had to offer him a pension. That’s how the matter was settled. Read in full this hilarious satire on legal system! Fiction
To Chinese people from a Christian [download] (“Китайскому народу от христианина”) 1894 In this letter, Tolstoy warns Chinese people about armed people who call themselves Christians (like the Salvation Army), who actually have nothing to do with Christianity, and they are perverting and destroying souls of millions, constantly expanding their influence over more and more countries, under guise of offering them their wares and their wild faith, pushing their glitz what they call “culture”, but make people forfeit their own virtues and this committing the greatest villainy against people. Nonfiction
To God or to Mammon? [download] (“Богу или мамоне?”) 1899 “There is an old story about a monk who lost a bet to the devil and had to do what the devil would order him. And so the devil gave the monk a choice of three crimes: murder, fornication, or drunkenness. The monk chose drunkenness, thinking that if he gets intoxicated he would harm only himself. But when the liquor took over him, he lost control of his reason, went to the village and there, yielding to a temptation of a woman, he committed adultery with her, and then committed a murder by defending himself from her husband, who returned and attacked him.”

Whoever you are, you cannot stay between two camps anymore, you unavoidably must choose one of the two: to oppose drunkenness or cooperate with it – serve God or mammon.

Response to the Synod and to Letters Received in Regards to Their Edict (“Ответ на определение синода”), Resolution of Their Holiness Synod (“Определение Святейшего Синода”) 1901   Nonfiction
The Overthrow of Hell and Its Restoration [download] (“Разрушение ада и восстановление его”) 1902 In this legend, a satirical story, Tolstoy gave deep true characteristic of existing social structure, people’s confusions about religious beliefs and other prejudices, confusions about morals and discerning of what’s “right” and “wrong” – all described from the point of view of characters of devils from hell. Fiction
Work, death, and disease [download] (“Труд, смерть и болезнь”) 1903 “Work, Death, and Disease” by Lev Tolstoy – a beautiful legend based on a Native Americans’ tale: how God, through trials, taught people to live in love and union with everybody. Fiction
Trust Yourself [download] (“Верьте себе”) 1906  “Believe in yourself and live to put all your strengths into one: to manifest God in you – and you’ll accomplish everything you can for your own welfare and for welfare of the whole world.” Tolstoy Nonfiction
Love each other [download] (“Любите друг друга”) 1907 “When people live everyone for himself, they cannot avoid taking away from each other, fighting, getting mad at each other, and so their life can’t not to be unhappy. For life to be a blessing as intended, people need to understand that our real life is not in our body, but in that spirit which lives in our body…” Tolstoy Nonfiction
The Blessing of Love [download] (“Благо Любви”) 1908 An appeal to people-brothers: Believe only in the blessing of love which is open to you and is calling you. Nonfiction
Time Has Come [download] (“Время пришло”) 1908 The consequence of people non-following the teaching of universal truth of love and kindness brought people to the terrible sufferings and corruption of their souls. And, as a result, they live in what’s called a governmental state which tortures, robs, in favor of a small part of the corrupt people enjoying this rip-off. Nonfiction
Archangel Gabriel [download] (“Архангел Гавриил”) 1908 A legend about how an angel found out what is actually important to God. Fiction
Two Brothers and the Gold [download] (“Два брата и золото“) 1886


Read this tale, and then tell, what do you think the moral of the “Two Brothers and the Gold” is? Why is that – not our cash, or wealth, is required to serve people and God, but only our works? And how many things did Athanasius do wrong? Fiction
Little Girls Wiser Than Men [download] (“Девчонки умнее стариков”) 1885 “Unless ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of God.” Nonfiction
The Remorseful Sinner [download] (“Кающийся грешник“) 1886 “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom. And Jesus said to him, verily I say unto thee, now today shalt thou be with me in Heaven.” (The Luke. XXIII, 42, 43) Fiction
The ending of the legend “Forty years” [download] “Окончание малороссийской легенды ‘Сорок лет’, изданной Костомаровым в 1881 году” 1899 A legend about a rich man who, to acquire wealth, killed his competitor, and about internal punishment which befell him from the moment when he had lost God in him. Fiction
The Stones [download] (“Камни“) 1901 A parable about a common mistake people make – consider themselves righteous – only notice the sins of others and don’t notice their own. Fiction
The Big Dipper [download] (“Большая Медведица (Ковш)”) 1906 A beautiful legend about selflessness and kindness. Fiction
Ilyas [download] (“Ильяс”) 1885 This story is about a rich man who became poor, and didn’t expect but found his true happiness. Fiction
The Thief’s Son [download] (“Воров сын”) 1906 A story about a man who refused from the jury duty because he felt he doesn’t have right to judge another person. Fiction
A Conversation about Science [download] (“Разговор о науке”) 1876 When we have so many questions about the meaning of human life, how come science can’t answer them? Nonfiction
Patriotism and Christianity [download] (“Христианство и патриотизм”) 1894 Patriotism is the cruel tradition of an outlived period, which still exists only because the Governments, to maintain their power, persistently excite it among the people. In reality, patriotism is slavery. Nonfiction
Epilogue to Drózhzhin’s Life and Death [download] (“Жизнь и смерть Евдокима Никитича Дрожжина”) 1895 A strong appeal to people confused in relation to their support of military forces and the use of arms in general. Nonfiction
Astonishing Creatures [download] (“Удивительные существа”) 1880 A parable about strange creatures (people) screwing up what they’ve got from their Father and worshiping wrong things. Fiction
Three Sons [download] (“Три сына”) 1881 A parable about how three sons figured out what their father (God) wants from them by saying “live the way I do” for all to be happy. Fiction
Françoise  [download] (“Франсуаза”) 1891 A heart-breaking story about how lust and drunkenness make people unconscious of their actions, until they wake up to a good and reasonable life. Fiction
From the Will of the Mexican King [download] (“Из завещания мексиканского царя”) 1906 The great leader calls to people to realize that our life on the earth is only temporary, and so we should instead “strive for the sky, where everything is forever”. Nonfiction
The Two Old Men [download] (“Два старика”) 1885 A beautiful story about how two men were looking to find the grace of God in holy places, but came to realize that God has commanded everyone not to pray but to work our duties by means of love and good works.

“What’s the point of going across the sea to seek God, if lose Him that is within me here?”

Address to the Swedish Peace Congress
(“Last Message to Mankind”)
[download] (“Доклад, приготовленный для конгресса о мире в Стокгольме”)
1910 The congress was originally to take place in August of 1909, but was delayed for a year.  The reason given at the time was a Swedish worker’s strike, but it was widely speculated that the real reason was fear that Tolstoy would actually attend, deliver his speech, and challenge the Congress to be honest for once and demand the abolition of all armies as the only sincere and effective way to obtain world peace. Nonfiction
Khodynka [download] (“Ходынка”) 1910 A true story about a mass crush that occurred in 1896 at Khodynskoye Pole (North-West of Moscow) in the days of celebrations on the occasion of the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II, which killed 1,379 people and injured more than 900.
Appeal to the Clergy [download] (“К Духовенству”) 1902 “On one hand, the so-called believers find complete approval of their evil way of life in this teaching, which recognizes those actions and conditions which are most contrary to Christianity as compatible with it. On another hand, unbelievers, arriving at the denial of all religion as a consequence of this teaching, wipe out all distinction between good and evil, preach a doctrine of inequality, egotism, strife, and the oppression of the weak by the strong, and preach this as the highest truth attainable by man.“ Tolstoy. Nonfiction
The Godson [download] (“Крестник”) 1886 A beautiful story-parable about a man finding a way to understand himself, his purpose of life, understanding events around him, consequences of these events, and about sparkling a fire of kindness in himself and teaching it to others. Fiction
After the Dance [download] (“После бала”) 1903 This story vividly exposes hypocritical life. A shocking contrast is between a general’s outer brilliance and fondness toward his daughter, and his ruthlessness toward a soldier whom he personally walks through a death-threatening torture. Fiction
Where love is, there god is also [download] (“Где любовь, там и бог”) 1885 This heart touching story is about how an old man, a shoemaker, overcame his grief and bitterness toward God for the loss of his only son, and how he, through his study of Christ’s teaching, found meaning of his life, in caring for other people. Fiction
Short biography of William Lloyd Garrison by V.Chertkov [download] (“Предисловие к английской биографии Гаррисона”) 1904 An inspiring Biography of the great American Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison, with an Introduction by Lev Tolstoy Nonfiction
Karma [download] (“Карма”) 1902 This sweet fairy tale highlights two main, open by Christianity, truths: that the life is only in renouncing your own identity – “who will destroy the soul, he will find it,” – and that the blessing for people is only in their communion with God and through God among themselves: “As you are in me and I in you, and they may be one in us.” Fiction
The Imp and the Crust [download] (“Как чертенок краюшку выкупал”) 1886


A sarcastic parable about a Devil corrupted a good man into a swine with the use of wine. Fiction
The Traveler and the Peasant [download] (“Проезжий и крестьянин”) 1909 An eye opening story-dialogue with a common man, leading him to understand that the life he complains about is the natural result of unconscious actions people take, and that solutions to their problems lie in sticking to the right morals, proclaimed by the teaching of Christ. Nonfiction
The Poor People [download] (“Бедные люди”) 1908


A heart touching story, an exemplar of how compassionate and caring people can be for other children, just as they are for their own. Fiction
Master and Man [download] (“Хозяин и работник”) 1895 A soul-transforming story about a selfish rich man who in a life-threatening situation suddenly turned to be compassionate to his dying companion and saved his life, and realized the vanity of his past cares about the carnal life. Fiction
Superstition of the State [download] (“Суеверие государства”) 1910 The essence of the lie and the deception of the doctrine of the governmental state Nonfiction
Need It Be So? [download] (“Неужели это так надо?”) 1900


The root of all the misery of the masses lies in that false doctrine which is taught to them under guise of Christianity. Nonfiction
It Is You [download] (“Это ты”) 1906 A parable about a tyrant who became enlightened and understood that all people are brothers and connected with each other. Fiction
Foe is cunning, but God is strong [download] (“Вражье лепко, а божье крепко”) 1886 A nice little parable about how godly goodness always wins over devilish evil. Fiction
The Three Hermits [download] (“Три старца”) 1885


A funny legend about a bishop who spent the whole day training three old man on the “Lord’s Prayer” just to discover that they have already personal connection with God. Fiction
Esarhaddon, king of Assyria [download] (“Ассирийский царь Асархадон”) 1903 A parable about a king coming to understand the Universal Truth about all people sharing one life among all, unable to destroy a life of others, but able to make life better by destroying barriers dividing beings. Fiction
The coffee-house of Surat [download] (“Суратская кофейная”) 1892 A tale about how a student of Conscious resolved a dispute among people about whose religions is better, who explained that pride prevents men from agreeing on matters of faith, as pride causes errors and discords among men. Fiction
Two different versions of the story of a hive with linden cover [download] (“Две различные версии истории улья с лубочной крышкой”) 1900 A hilarious satire – an analogy between our current social order and a bee hive with drones and worker bees. Fiction
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