Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesday ~ Rasputin's Gaze

Hello, my pretties! I thought I would do something a little different today. Instead of giving a teaser from one of my books, I'm going to treat you to a portion of someone else's. This book is called "Rasputin: The Holy Devil" by Rene Fulop-Miller. No, you've never heard of this one as it was printed in 1928. This is a book I coveted so much in high school, I never took it back to the library (shhh!) It not only covers Rasputin's life, but also the last days of the Emperor of Russia and his family, how it came about, in great detail. The historical factor alone is a given. But I must admit I have been smitten by those eyes, even through the lens of a camera!
Rasputin the holy monk
I recall finding this book and began reading about the most fascinating holy man of his time, Grigori Efimovich Rasputin. His gaze, and the miracles he performed became widely known. But the one thing that made him most famous was the fact that he was able to some how alleviate the hemophilia of Alixis, the young czarevich, when no doctor could. After which he gained influence over the Empress Alexadra, and eventually Nicholas II--the last Tsar of Russia. Rasputin's end was not pretty. He was assassinated, but it took a lot to put this holy man down. Drowning was the official cause of death, but they had poisoned, shot and threw him into a river--there was actually a bullet hole in this forehead!

Rasputin's infamous gaze became well known throughout the country. No matter who you where, or what youy thought of him (even if they hated him), they were all affected by his mesmerizing gaze. Here are a couple of excerpts:

All the characteristins which had made him seem coarse and common on his first entry into the drawing-rooms of St. Petersburg underwent a peculiar transfiguration in the eyes of his credulously enthusiastic women worshippers. While they nervously awaited his coming a stifling atmosphere of overwrought excitement hung over the expectant company. When at last the door opened and revealed Rasputin on the threshold, a tremor passed through all present, as at the announcement of a miraculous event.  If he stopped before the women to kiss them three times with bowed head after the manner of the wandering monks, they thrilled with ecstasy of a religious experience, and called him by names proper only to a saint. They were convinced that God revealed Himself in his words, that the Holy Ghost met them in the glance of his little, water-blue eyes, that his touch transmitted even to their sinful bodies the grace dwelling in him and that his kisses and embraces sanctified each one of his faithful disciples.
Many people, of course, attempted to withstand Rasputin's magic.They tried to keep their heads, and fought with all their might against his compelling influence. But even the few who succeeded, and continued to see the human being with his common features, small, cunning eyes, and unkempt beard, could not quite escape his mysterious power.

Some spoke of hypnotism, and tried to break the strange spell of the miracle-worker with a dry, scientific word; but this was of little avail against the living impression of Rasputin's personality.

"How peculiar his eyes are," confesses a woman who had made efforts to resist his influence. She goes on to say that every time she met him she was always amazed afresh at the power of this glance, which it was impossible to withstand for any considerable time. There was something oppressive in this kind and gentle, but at the same time sly and cunning, glance; people were helpless under the spell of the powerful will which could be felt in his whole being. However tired you might be of this charm, and however much you wanted to escape it, somehow or other you always found yourself attracted back and held.

I wanted to include more, but maybe next time I'll put up an actual moment from the book of someone's experience in his presence. Hope you liked it. And I hope all my Russian readers liked it too *waves*


  1. Very interesting and very well-researched post, Miss Lorelei!
    He was quite something.
    I believe he was well-versed in some sort of mind-control. He wouldn't have had such influence over the Czarina.
    Great post.

  2. Thank you Ms. Carole! He was quite something. I have to agree with you, he found some way to control people and hypnotize them and make them do what he wanted them to do.


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