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Rasputin Hardcover – February 6, 2014
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Praise for Frances Welch: "Frances Welch combines historical insight with a novelistic flair for character." --Evening Standard
About the Author
Frances Welch is the author of The Russian Court at Sea (2011), Romanov Fantasy (2008) and Sydney Gibbes: Tutor to the Children of the Last Tsar (2004), all published by Short Books. She lives in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
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The author of this book provided exactly what I was looking for - this is an engaging, fast-paced overview of the man and his times. The facts are crazy enough to hold the reader's interest and were presented without any tedious description of how the government itself was laid out. I learned a lot about the historical period Rasputin moved in, without getting down down in boring politics. Politics are here, of course, but revealed as functions of individual personalities, many of which were highly quirky and dysfunctional!
This was an easy read and introduces the reader to a fascinating era. It's a great starting point to learn about Rasputin and his times. And proves the adage that "truth is stranger than fiction."
Nicholas and Alexandra. Even the actions of Nicholas and Alexandra themselves probably contributed to their own downfall. Evil exists in every era but people quite often unwittingly play into the hands of that evil. Very sad to think that a whole family was brutally shot to death.
It is a quick read. Even for those who know the story there is new (or at least new to me) material. The book is not footnoted so it is unclear how much some assertions are interpretative. Some are significant, for instance, did Yussoupov (one of the assassins) discuss a cure for his homosexuality with Rasputin on an earlier occasion? Some are interesting but not so significant, for instance, did the Romanov daughters keep lockets with Rasputin's picture throughout their incarceration?
The last pages were of the most interest. They capsulize what became of the main people in Rasputin's life. While most of the nobility perished in the Revolution, Rasputin's assassins were (safely) exiled before the empire's ultimate fall. Rasputin's family, considered wealthy peasants, did not fare better than the nobles although his daughter survived until 1977 in the US in ways that are as amazing as (but very different from) those of her father.
This is a light and spicy overview for those with general interest in the topic. For those who want more depth I recommend Rasputin: The Untold Story.
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