'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 separates fact from sensational fiction to portray the true life of the charlatan monk. Boris Pasternak told the courier, as he handed over the manuscript of Doctor Zhivago to be smuggled out of the Soviet Union, ‘You are hereby invited to take part in my own execution’. Anna Pasternak, great-niece of Boris, unravels Pasternak's tragic romance with his mistress, the model for Lara, heroine of Doctor Zhivago.