New Book on Rasputin Rewrites the Final
Days of Nicholas II and the Russian Empire

The cover offers a rare portrait of Rasputin by Theodora Krarup (1916). Krarup became a friend of Rasputin
and painted a total of twelve portriats of him, the last of which was completed several days before his death.

THE MURDER OF GRIGORII RASPUTIN A Book Review by Charlotte Zeepvat

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Margarita Nelipa’s new book The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin: A Conspiracy That Brought Down the Russian Empire, provides startling fresh evidence on one of the most controversial figures of early twentieth century history, Grigorii Rasputin, It has been argued by many that Rasputin not only had great influence over the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II and his wife, but that he also helped to discredit the tsarist government, which ultimately led to the fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917. Contemporary opinions saw Rasputin variously as a saintly mystic, visionary, healer and prophet and, on the other side of the coin, as a debauched religious charlatan. There has been much uncertainty over Rasputin's life and influence, for accounts of his life have often been based on dubious memoirs, hearsay, and legend.

Margarita Nelipa’s groundbreaking new book is based on a host of previously unknown Russian sources, including primary documents such as newspapers of the day and original police depositions, diaries and Duma documents all translated by the author. Extensive annotations and comprehensive appendices add academic strength to this popular history.

Margarita is an Australian-based author of Russian descent who has combined her medical and legal background and deep knowledge and love of Russian history to reopen the Rasputin file, challenging many popular held myths about the events leading up the brutal murder of the Russian holy man, the investigations surrounding the case, and the depth of treachery and deceit that surrounded the last crowned Emperor of Russia.

The popular theory held by most people is that Rasputin was a monk, who debauched the Empress and influenced the government by some means. “None of these notions are correct”, says the author. When asked for her inspiration, the author replied: “I started out with this project as if it was a "cold case". I did not have any pre-conceived ideas or where that journey of discovery would take me. The further I dug, the more I realized that there was a different path to take - into unfamiliar territory. “I then asked myself why Nikolai II was so firm and positive about Rasputin and forgiving about his character and why almost everyone else was so negative and unforgiving. Once that question was answered, the truth about Rasputin emerged. I came to realize that Rasputin was the key to what happened to coerce Nikolai II to abdicate. The story developed to the point that it was not simply a biography, nor was it any longer a forensic exercise; it grew into an imperial tragedy”.

The new materials that Nelipa discovered and translated reveal for the first time the shocking facts surrounding the brutal murder of Rasputin. Nelipa clearly identifies that it was the Russian aristocracy that destroyed Nikolai II and their country in the process, using Rasputin and Alexandra Fyodorovna as their weapons.

No previous historian or author has analyzed the Rasputin Case as a combined forensic and legal case using a social and historic context. None have analyzed the ramifications of Nikolai II's decisions directed against the murderers Dmitri Pavlovitch and Felix Yusupov. None have evaluated the social and political events in relation to the content of the speeches given by the Duma delegates held during 1912 and 1916-17 in the manner presented in this book.

Readers will no doubt be shocked when the actions of Zinaida Yusupova, Grand Duchess Mariya Pavlovna (the elder), the Dowager Empress and Grand Duchess Elizaveta Fyodorovna are exposed, as well as those of Grand Duke Nikolai Mikhailovich and the military leadership. Few, if any, know that there was a plan to murder both Nikolai II and Alexandra Feodorovna.

Nelipa also brings new light on the role of British Intelligence in connection with Rasputin's murder.

Likewise, no one in the West has ever broached the subject about Rasputin's burial and then describes the exhumation of his remains, the political reasons behind all those decisions and the actual location where those remains were secretly destroyed.

The author’s exhaustive study and analysis of Rasputin’s murder and the final years of the Russian monarchy spans more than 600 pages and is complemented with nearly 100 photos, few of which have been published in the West. One of the most poignant images is the last one: a sketch of Rasputin's family home in Siberia drawn by Grand Duchess Mariya when the Romanov family was being transported to their place of execution.

Margarita Nelipa’s book will not only fascinate, sadden and shock the reader, but also rewrites one of the most tragic and misunderstood chapters of Imperial Russian history.

The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin: A Conspiracy That Brought down the Russian Empire will be published in April 2010 by Gilbert’s Books in Canada

For more information or to arrange interviews with the author, please contact the publisher:

Paul Gilbert @ Gilbert's Books

Gilbert's Books (A Division of Royal Russia)
24 January, 2010

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