The Three Questions

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"The Three Questions"
1916 cover
A 1916 cover illustration by Michael Sevier
AuthorLeo Tolstoy
TranslatorAylmer and Louise Maude
Published inWhat Men Live By, and Other Tales
Media typePrint
Publication date1898

"The Three Questions" is a short story by Russian author Leo Tolstoy first published in 1885[citation needed] as part of the collection What Men Live By, and Other Tales. The story takes the form of a parable, and it concerns a king who wants to find the answers to what he considers the three most important questions in life.

He consults wise men, promising a large sum to anyone who could answer those questions, but their answers were too diverse and did not satisfy the king. So, he goes to a hermit in search of his help. The rest of the story revolves around both of them.

See also[edit]


  • "The Works of Tolstoi." Black's Readers Service Company: Roslyn, New York. 1928.

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