Courtesy Reuters

Rasputin and the Empress: Authors of the Russian Collapse

THE REIGN OF RASPUTIN: AN EMPIRE'S COLLAPSE. BY M. V. RODZIANKO. London: Philpot, 1927.

THE LETTERS OF THE TSARITSA TO THE TSAR, 1912-1916. New York: McBride, 1923.

LA RUSSIE DES TSARS. BY MAURICE PALÉOLOGUE. 3 vols. Paris: Plon-Nourrit, 1921.

THIRTEEN YEARS AT THE RUSSIAN COURT. BY PIERRE GILLIARD. London: Hutchinson, 1921.

THE publication of the letters of the Tsaritsa to her husband for the first time showed in black and white Rasputin's enormous political significance. But those who took the trouble to wade through that mass of loose English were probably too overcome by the sweep of the vast tragedy to realize at first the unique importance of the letters as historical material. It is to this aspect of the subject that this article is devoted.

The Rasputin tragedy passed at the time behind closed doors, except for Rasputin's own entire indifference to public scandal. By now almost every one of the persons who could give valuable first-hand evidence on the subject has said his word. M. Gilliard, tutor to the Tsarevich, a man of great good sense and good feeling, has given a beautiful picture of the home life of the Imperial family, the accuracy of which has been confirmed both by the Provisional and the Soviet Governments. We have for what it is worth the Apologia of Madame Vyrubov, the only person who was with the family continually, and Rasputin's chosen go-between for his communications with the Empress. A slighter record is given by another friend of the Empress, Madame Lili Dehn. The Head of the Police Department, Beletsky, has told a typical story of ministerial intrigue centred round Rasputin. The French Ambassador, M. Paléologue, has issued a current record of events, evidently touched up for publication, which gives the atmosphere of grand ducal and higher society, but also connects Rasputin at point after point with political events of the most critical importance. Now we have also the important record of the President of the Third and Fourth Dumas, Mr. Michael Rodzianko,

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue