Grigory Rasputin, the Siberian peasant-turned-mystic, was as fascinating as he was unfathomable. He played the role of the simple man, eating with his fingers and boasting, 'I don't even know my ABC...' But, as the only person able to relieve the symptoms of haemophilia in the Tsar's heir Alexis, he gained almost hallowed status within the Imperial court. During the last decade of his life, he and his band of 'little ladies' came to symbolise all that was decadent and remote about the royal family. His role in the downfall of the tsarist regime is beyond dispute. But who was he really? Prophet or rascal? In this eye-opening short biography, which draws on previously unpublished material, Frances Welch turns her inimitable wry gaze on one of the great mysteries of Russian history.