Lecturer: Alan Rustage
In 1914 Russia was a huge country (it was nearly 10,000 km St Petersburg to Vladivostock) with a population nearly four times that of Great Britain’s. It was backward and autocratic and, according to Karl Marx, the last place in Europe there could possibly be a revolution. Even Lenin, who led that revolution, did not think it would survive for more than a few weeks.
This talk will attempt to explain how it happened by focussing on the main players: Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra, who bought all their furniture mass produced from London, and had their son carried everywhere by a seven foot sailor; Rasputin, the semi-literate holy man from Siberia, famous for his drinking and womanising, but who effectively ran Russia once the Tsar was at the Front; Prince Felix Yusupov, the rake and roué who killed Rasputin; and Vladimir Lenin, driven by a cold determination to overthrow the system which had been responsible for the death of his brother.