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Lost Splendor: The Amazing Memoirs of the Man Who Killed Rasputin

by Prince Felix Youssoupoff



Buy the book: Prince Felix Youssoupoff. Lost Splendor: The Amazing Memoirs of the Man Who Killed Rasputin

Release Date: October, 2003

Edition: Hardcover

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Buy the book: Prince Felix Youssoupoff. Lost Splendor: The Amazing Memoirs of the Man Who Killed Rasputin


A Glimpse Into A Vanished World

Prince Felix Yousssoupoff is best known as one of the murderers of Gregory Rasputin just before the Russian Revolution. He was a member of one of Russia's most aristocratic families, and in this memoir, originally published in the 1950s, he gives us a glimpse of life for a nobleman in pre-Revolutionary Russia.

Life was certainly rich, if not always good, for Prince Felix. As a younger son, he was given very little education and basically allowed to do as he pleased during his formative years. Most of the time what he was pleased to do was to get into trouble. I lost count of the number of servants, governesses, and other retainers who quit with nervous breakdowns after trying to look after Felix. Under the influence of his elder brother, whom he adored, Felix had an early initiation into sexual and other kinds of debauchery. He enjoyed dressing as a woman and living the high life in St. Petersburg, London, and Paris. Felix was reticent about his sexuality, claiming several affairs with women but speaking more warmly about his men friends, including Grand Duke Dmitri, who helped him murder Rasputin. When Felix's brother was killed in a duel Felix became the heir to a vast fortune. He married Tsar Nicholas' niece Irina, whom he claimed to adore but otherwise said little about.

The most interesting parts of this book deal with Rasputin, whom Felix met several times. Typically, Felix hints that there was a sexual nature to these encounters, but divulges few details. Felix describes the murder and his subsequent exile, which saved him from being in St. Petersburg during the February Revolution in 1917, and his internment in the Crimea with other members of the Imperial Family from 1917 through 1919, when he escaped on a British warship.

This book is interesting but highly reticent. Felix never loses a chance to glamorize himself and his activities, with the result that some undeniably brave actions, like his several trips to St. Petersburg to rescue treasures while the Bolshevik terror was at its height, tend to get less attention than they deserve. A more open and informative biography of Prince Felix, The Man Who Killed Rasputin, by Greg King, was published several years ago and will help fill in the gaps left by Felix's own work.

From Amazon.com

A historical treat

I first encountered this book as a teenager and was just enchanted with it, and I'm thrilled a new printing has come out. Of the many autobiographies of exiled Russian nobility, this one stood out. Perhaps because of the historical role he played. There are fascinating stories of eccentric personalities (how about getting a mountain for a birthday present, complete with sheep?). A complex personality, Felix was, admittedly, spoiled rotten, used to getting his way and yet, had admirable traits (it's not in this book but once in exile, he never turned down a request for help from another refugee). And then there is Rasputin and his part in that assasination. Of course, Felix leaves out some details about himself other historians have noted. However, the book is still an accurate picture of a lost world. If you enjoy this era, this book is worth having in your collection.

From Amazon.com
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