Books: Holy Terror

THE LIFE AND TIMES

OF GRIGORII RASPUTIN by Alex de Jonge

Coward, McCann & Geoghegan 368 pages; $17.95

On the night of July 19, 1907, Alexei, the only son of Nicholas and Alexandra, the Tsar and Tsarina of Imperial Russia, lay in his bed, hemorrhaging. The four-year-old suffered from hemophilia—the hereditary "bleeder" disease for which turn-of-the-century medicine knew no remedy. In desperation the father and mother sent for a holy man, then the rage of St. Petersburg society.

The bedside scene has been reported: "The child . . . began to bubble with laughter. Rasputin laughed too. He laid his hand on the boy's leg...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!