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Mayhew, M - Rasputin and his Russian queen

Mayhew, M - Rasputin and his Russian queen
Rasputin’s relationship with Russia’s last Tsarina, Alexandra, notorious from the famous Boney M song, has never been adequately addressed; biographies are always for one or the other, or simply Alexandra and her husband Nicholas. In this new work, Mickey Mayhew reimagines Alexandra for the #MeToo generation: ‘neurotic’; ‘hysterical’; ‘credulous’ and ‘fanatical’ are shunted aside in favour of a sympathetic reimagining of a reserved and pious woman tossed into the heart of Russian aristocracy, with the sole purpose of providing their patriarchal monarchy with an heir. When the son she prayed for turns out to be a haemophiliac, she forms a friendship with the one man capable of curing the child’s agonising attacks. Some say that between them, Grigori and Alexandra brought down 300 years of Romanov rule and ushered in the Russian Revolution, but theirs was simply the story of a mother fighting for the health of her son against a backdrop of bigotry, sexism and increasing secularism. Bubbling with his trademark bon mots, Mickey Mayhew’s new book breathes fresh life into two of history’s most fascinating - and polarising - figures. She liked to pray and he liked to party, but when they found themselves steering Russia into the First World War, her gender and his class meant that society simply had to crush them. This is the real story of Rasputin and his Russian queen, Alexandra. Hardback, in English, 224 pages, 50 illustrations.

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