A Calendar of Wisdom (Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Lao-Tzu, Buddha, Pascal, Jesus, Muhammad, Confucius, Emerson, Kant, Ruskin, Seneca, Socrates, Thoreau and many more prompted Tolstoy to write in the introduction, "I hope that the readers of this book may experience the same benevolent and elevating feeling which I have experienced when I was working on its creation, and which I experience again and again when I reread it every day, working on the enlargement and improvement of the previous edition."

The translator, Peter Sekirin, explains that this was Tolstoy's last major work. He put an enormous amount of effort into this collection over a period of 15 years. He carefully selected the contributors and they cover a wide range of philosophical views. Tolstoy grouped the thoughts according to a topic for each day of the year, and he added his own thoughts to each daily entry. An edition of A Calendar of Wisdom was published in Russia in 1912 but was forbidden by the Soviet regime. It was republished in Russia in 1995 and was a great success, selling over 300,000 copies.


  • Tolstoy, Leo. A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul translated by Peter Sekirin. Prentice Hall & IBD. Oct 1997. ISBN 0-684-83793-5.
  • A cycle of Readings
  • Path of life to read in Google books
  • Tolstoys son tells about his father discussing the different titles: see footnote24 in Reminiscences of Tolstoy
  • 1919 Translation - Part 1
  • 1919 Translation - Part 2