Today is the last day of December and as usual I have some history to impart to my readers…..I cannot let the month and the year go without one last shot at educating the reader.
How many Americans know of the monk Rasputin? The Mad Monk of Moscow…….
Grigori Rasputin was born into a peasant family in Siberia, Russia, around 1869. After failing to become a monk, Rasputin became a wanderer and eventually entered the court of Czar Nicholas II because of his alleged healing abilities. Known for his prophetic powers, he became a favorite of the Nicholas’s wife, Alexandra Feodorovna, but his political influence was minor. Rasputin became swept up in the events of the Russian Revolution and met a brutal death at the hands of assassins in 1916.
The story goes that he had so muck influence over the tsarina that some military types took it upon themselves to rid the monarchy of this influence.
The story goes that he was poison, shot, clubbed and drowned before he actually died…..
The end of December marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Rasputin, the “mad monk of Russia”, or “lover of the Russian queen” if you believe the Boney M song, though you probably shouldn’t. While the song is undoubtedly a floor-filler, unsurprisingly it is not exactly a reliable historical account of Rasputin’s life.
Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, a mystic and spiritual healer born in Pokrovskoe in Siberia, wielded huge influence over the Russian royal family, particularly Alexandra, the Tsarina, who looked to the spiritual healer to cure her haemophiliac son, Alexei. The life of Rasputin was certainly pretty strange but it is the stories surrounding his death that are the strangest of all.
What is known is that one evening Rasputin went to the Yusupov Palace in St Petersburg at the invitation of Prince Felix Yusupov. Rasputin’s dead body was recovered from the frozen Neva River days later. No one is completely sure what happened in between these two events.
This is a fascinating story…..and a mystery for the ages…..this is your last history lesson of the year, 2017….but the new year will bring even more….my gift to my readers….you are welcome.