A peek into history…
by Hadley Meares (Atlas Obscura)
“I was born in 1899 in the village of Pokrovskoe in the county of Tobolsk. My parents are peasants, simple people. Our family consists of: father, mother, grandfather (my father’s father), my brother, sister and myself. We all live happily together but sometimes I get cross with my brother and sister, but with my sister I get cross all the time. My father plays an important role because the Sovereign knows him and loves him.”
“Maria Grigorievna Rasputin wrote the simple words above as a young teenager in unpublished diaries. But from the beginning of her life in rural Siberia to its end in sunny Los Angeles, nothing about Maria’s life would ever be simple or easy.
Maria spent her early childhood in a relatively well-off family of peasants. Her mother was a practical, hardworking woman. Her father Grigori, was a Starets, an un-ordained holy man who traveled the country preaching and comforting those in need. From the start, Maria seems to have had a healthy sense of skepticism. She and her brother and sister dreaded the long hours of enforced prayer and fasting “for which everything, anniversaries or penitence’s, served as an excuse.”
In 1906, the family’s life was transformed when Grigori, who would become known to history simply as “Rasputin,” was introduced to the royal family in St. Petersburg. He was soon credited by the Empress Alexandra for saving the life of Alexi, the hemophiliac heir to the Russian throne. In 1910, Maria and her sister, Varvara, were sent to live with their father in St. Petersburg so that they could be transformed into “little ladies.”…
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