Great Lives Lecture Series: Rasputin

Great Lives Lecture Series: Rasputin

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series continues on April 16 with a lecture on Rasputin by Joseph Fuhrmann, author of Rasputin: The Untold Story.

"The very name Rasputin evokes mystery –  a whiff of the occult.  Rasputin is famous for compelling eyes, mystical powers and a great sexual appetite.  His death has become legendary.  No other Russian has penetrated so deeply into urban folklore and pop culture.  Born a peasant in Siberia in 1869, Rasputin established himself as a Holy Man – a starets – a teacher, preacher and healer.  In October 1905 he met Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, the Empress Alexandra.  Their son Alexis, heir to the throne, was a hemophiliac who suffered excruciating attacks of internal bleeding.  The doctors were helpless, but when Rasputin prayed, the attacks ended.  This made Rasputin influential with the tsar and his wife, to the extent that, by 1914, he was thought to be all-powerful, and Russians were soon speaking of “The Reign of Rasputin.”  Alarmed, a group of monarchists murdered Rasputin on December 17, 1916.  Even so, when a popular uprising forced Nicholas II to abdicate in March 1917, Rasputin was dug up and cremated; his remains were dumped in a stream in a lonely forest on the outskirts of St. Petersburg."

Find out more about this lecture on the University of Mary Washington's web site.

All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are held at 7:30pm, in Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, and are free and open to the public.

For more on this topic, check out these items from the library:

Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
Intimate, rich in detail, carefully researched and informed by a generous imagination, Erickson's page-turning account of Alexandra and her times is a gem of biographical storytelling, as vivid and hard to put down as an enthralling novel. (catalog summary)

The Man Who Killed Rasputin: Prince Youssoupov and the Murder That Helped Bring Down the Russian Empire by Greg King
Tells a great story, from the sordid affairs and intricacies of the European aristocracy to the history of that era.  Rasputin's death and life read like fiction.  (

The Rasputin File by Edvard Radzinsky
Based on Radzinsky's persistent scholarship and enlivened by his superb flair for the dramatic, The Rasputin File is a mesmerizing account of the man and brings a new understanding to the nature of Rasputin's power.  (catalog summary)

Rasputin: Rascal Master by Jane Oakley
Includes over 150 color and black and white photographs and illustrations.

Rasputin: The Untold Story by Joseph Fuhrmann
This vivid, briskly written biography brings to life one of the most colorful and sinister figures in modern Russian history.  (Publishers Weekly)  Based on new sources, the definitive biography of Rasputin.  

The Romanov Legacy: The Palaces of St. Petersburg by Zoia Belyakova
A gorgeous book...full of lovely, large clear color photos of various Romanov palaces in St Petersburg.  (

Russia, Land of the Tsars by Partisan Pictures for the History Channel (DVD)
Filmed on location throughout Russia, enriched by exclusive visits to important sites and museums, and filled with commentary from renowned scholars.  (

Biographical essays and literary criticism are available online through the library’s databases.  Visit