More than 100 years after his death, few figures in Russian history evoke as much fascination as Grigori Rasputin, often portrayed as the “Mad Monk” who became the political power behind Tzar Nicholas II and his family.
The fact that he was neither mad, nor a monk, hasn’t stopped scores of writers from repeating these and other bogus claims. Historians also debate the significance of his influence and role, although most agree that the royal family came to rely on his self-proclaimed mysterious powers.
Even Rasputin's murder has taken on mythic proportions, including whether the cause of death was poison, bullets, beatings, or drowning in an icy river. Questions also continue about who was present on that December night at the Yusupov Palace. What happened to those who were involved? Do we finally know the identity of the real killer?
Historian Ralph Nurnberger explores the labyrinth of stories surrounding the life and death of one of Russian history’s most intriguing characters.