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What of the emperor with no Svengali?

Sinead Ryan


 

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Dominic Cummings arriving back to his north London home, the day after he a gave press conference over allegations he breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Dominic Cummings arriving back to his north London home, the day after he a gave press conference over allegations he breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Dominic Cummings arriving back to his north London home, the day after he a gave press conference over allegations he breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Rasputin, as everyone knows, was a love-hate figure of early 20th-century Russian history. A self-proclaimed mystic and visionary, he captivated the Romanov royal family, in particular Tsarina Alexandra, the empress consort of Nicholas II.

His wild eyes, flowing beard and hypnotic control over the powerful rulers led to polarised opinions - sacred, divisive, loathed and revered in equal measure. Was he charlatan or prophet? His recovery from a near-fatal assassination attempt in 1914 convinced some of his 'magical' powers.


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