The Biography

3.85 based on 191 ratings & 46 reviews on Goodreads.com

Publication date: 18.05.2017
ISBN: 9781447245858
Number of pages: 848



Nearly a century after his murder, Rasputin remains as divisive a figure as ever.

Was he really a horse thief and a hard-drinking ruffian in his youth? Was he a a devout Orthodox Christian, or was he in fact a just a fake holy man? Are the stories of his enormous sexual drive, debauchery, and drunken orgies true or simply a myth? How did he come to know the emperor and empress and to wield so much influence over them? What was the source of his healing power? Was Rasputin running the government in the final years of his life? And if so, was he acting on his own or on the orders of more powerful, hidden forces? Did Prince Yusupov and his fellow conspirators act alone or were they other parties involved in Rasputin’s murder—British secret agents or even an underground cell of Freemasons, as has been claimed? And to what extent did Rasputin’s murder doom the Romanov dynasty? Drawing on major new sources hitherto unexamined by western historians, Douglas Smith’s book is be the definitive biography of this extraordinary figure for a generation.

In the media

Douglas Smith begins this impressive biography by rubbishing almost everything previously written, stripping away a century of myth, fabrication, gossip and lies . . . a fascinating, often entertaining, biography.
The Times
Utterly fascinating and foreniscally detailed . . .There are plenty of Rasputin biographies already, but its superlative scholarship and attention to detail put this one in a class of its own.
Sunday Times
The most comprehensive account of Rasputin to date, brimming with complexities and fascinating detail, and stands as an enlightening re-evaluation of this crucial figure in Russian history.
Daily Telegraph

Upcoming events

Douglas Smith at Charleston Festival

Douglas Smith at Charleston Festival

  • Charleston Farmhouse
    Charleston Farmhouse
  • 20 May 2017 18:15
20 May 2017 06:15Z 20 May 2017 07:30Z

'Russian Roulette': Two of the best known figures in Russian history flirted with disaster. Rasputin, the holy man who mesmerised the doomed Romanovs, was assassinated. Historian Douglas Smith sepa...

More info >
Add event to your calendar: iCal GCal
Douglas Smith for the Prince George Galitzine Library

Douglas Smith for the Prince George Galitzine Library

  • The Travellers Club
    The Travellers Club
    106 Pall Mall London, SW1Y 5EP UNITED KINGDOM
  • 25 May 2017 18:30
25 May 2017 06:30Z 25 May 2017 08:30Z

During the centenary year of the Russian Revolutions, Douglas Smith, author of the new definitive biography of Rasputin, will give a fundraising talk, Faith, Power and the Twilight of the Romanovs,...

More info >
Add event to your calendar: iCal GCal
Douglas Smith and Robert Service at The British Library

Douglas Smith and Robert Service at The British Library

  • The British Library
    The British Library
  • 26 May 2017 19:00
26 May 2017 07:00Z 26 May 2017 08:30Z

The Last Days of the Tsars: Robert Service and Douglas Smith . The Twilight of the Romanovs " "In 1916-17, despite a disastrous war and evident popular unrest, Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexand...

More info >
Add event to your calendar: iCal GCal