The murder of Grigori Rasputin

On the 100th anniversary of Rasputin's murder, Douglas Smith, author of Rasputin, explains why the final hours of the holy man's life remain a subject of intense curiosity and speculation a century later.

21/12/2016
1 minutes to read
Rasputin by Douglas Smith book spine on a bookshelf

On the 100th anniversary of Rasputin's murder, Douglas Smith, author of Rasputin, explains why the final hours of the holy man's life remain a subject of intense curiosity and speculation a century later.

'Rasputin was murdered early on the morning of 17 December at the home of Felix Yusupov and his dead body dumped in a branch of the Neva River. This we know for certain. What happened in the final hours of Rasputin's life remains a subject of intense curiosity and speculation a century later.

Here is the story that has most often been told...'

Rasputin

by Douglas Smith

Book cover for Rasputin

SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE

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.