Grigori Efimovich Rasputin (Russia, 1864/72-1916)

Figure 1.--Here is Rasputin with the royal family, invcluding the Tsarina Alexandra and all five children. We are not sure about the ladt at the bottom right. She might be a governess. Alexis wears a sailor suit. The girls as was common wear white dresses. The Tsarina believed that Rasputin was able to help Alexia cope with his pain he experienced from his haemophilia condition. The photograph was taken in 1908.

Grigori Efimovich Rasputin was an uneducated Siberian mystic healer. He is one of the most picturesque figures of the 20th century. Virtually nothing is known about his childhood and early adult life. He was born in Pokrovskoe to a peasant family. The date of his birth is unknown, but there are many varied estimates (1864-72). This was a small, rural village in Tiumen Oblast. Pokrovskoe is in western Siberia on the Toura River near the foothills of the Ural Mountains. Pokrovskoe had only a few unpsaved streets. It was dominated by a large white church with a guilded dome. The gleaming church in the middler of a drab villsage must have affected the boys in the village. It certainly did young Grigori. Little is known about his education. Many Russians at the time received little or no education. Rasputin's education must have been very limited as he was illiterate. At a young age he developed a reputation for debauchery. Rasputin in Russian means the 'debauched one'. He also developed a reputation as a mystiqe and faith healer. And it it this reputation that unbelievably brouht him from Siberaian peasant poverty to the Tsar's household in St. Petersburg to save the Tsarevich Alexis. He had a very intimate relationship with the family. We assume it wasnot a physical relationship,but it was a very intense emotional relationship. As a result he had influence at court. He engendered what can only be called sensual longings in not only thr Tsarina and the oldest daughter, Olga. The Tsarina write that she wanted to fall asleepin in 'your embrace'. Olga told afriend that she could not 'control herself' when Rasputin was absent. And goes on to say that kissing her pillow at might ,she felt like she was kissing him. [Rappaport] Outside the Tsarina's entourage, Rasputin was genrally reviled and his influence over hr came to be ssen as a threat to rhe Empire. A group of aristocrants led by Prince Felix Yusupov, the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, and the right-wing politician Vladimir Purishkevich consipred to kill Rasputin (December 1916). They lured Rasputin to one of Yusupovs' palaces--the Moika Palace. [Farquhar, p. 197.]


Farquhar, Michael. A Treasure of Royal Scandals>/i> (Penguin Books: New York, 2001). (2001).

Rappaport, Helen. The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and and Alexandria (2014), 448p.


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Created: 9:00 PM 8/15/2009
Last updated: 12:55 AM 8/25/2017