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Messages - Prospector

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Rasputin / Re: New Biography of Rasputin out in November
« on: November 03, 2016, 06:38:29 PM »
Thank you all for the kind support!

Rasputin / Re: New Biography of Rasputin out in November
« on: November 01, 2016, 01:27:19 PM »
Thank you for the kinds words and for buying the book. I'm most grateful. Please do let me know what you think of it. You can always email me via my site at

All the best, Doug

Rasputin / New Biography of Rasputin out in November
« on: October 31, 2016, 10:35:34 AM »
For all fans of the last Romanovs, I'm thrilled to announce my new biography of Rasputin, six years in the making and drawing on new material from archives in seven countries, is out this week in the UK with Macmillan and later in the month in the US with Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The initial reviews have all been excellent.

Learn more about "Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs" at my site:

I look forward to readers' comments about the book.

Douglas Smith

Dear Eva,

Thank you for writing and I'm so glad you liked the book. Yes, you are correct: an English woman, descended on one side of her family from the Princes Golitsyn, did marry a Golitsyn in Moscow and now lives there with him and their children. She and her husband, who are lovely people, gave me a lot of help with my book.

All the best, Doug

Thank you for the kind words about my book. I do hope you buy it!
And you can see my book trailer by visiting my site:

Dear Peter (if I may),

Thank you for your clarification about the comments made about my book, Former People. I have only heard good things from the family members I know. The Cheremeteff family in DC threw a large book party for me and Katya Galitzine, executive director of the UK Friends of the Hermitage in London, invited me to speak at the Pushkin House there.

Of course, not everyone will agree with all my interpretations. I know some descendants of the nobles who left Russia may have a more favorable view of life under the Tsars and of the actions and attitudes of the nobility than what I write. I set out, as in all my books, to be as honest and fair and unbiased as possible. I am a historian, not a hagiographer. The reviews in the US and UK have been very favorable; if there has been any criticism, it is that I write too positively about my noble subjects, not that I am too critical of them.

Regardless, I am very flattered to receive your praise for my book and am glad to know you are enjoying it. Please do recommend it to your friends!

Sincerely, Douglas Smith 

Dear Petr,

I am the author of Former People. I showed my book in ms to many members of the Sheremetev and Golitsyn families and only one person was unhappy and asked that I remove all citations of the documents she lent me. Since it's been published, I've had nothing but compliments and thanks from the family members in the US, England, Europe, and Russia.

If you know of individuals who are "unhappy with the product," I be curious to learn what they found disagreeable and who, in fact, they are.

Thank you.

Thank you Mr. Smith. I'm looking forward to it. I've always wonded what happen to them

The fates of these families--Sheremetevs, Golitsyns, Yusupovs, Dolgorukys, etc--defy belief. My book examines the story of the entire nobility, but chiefly follows the lives of the Counts Sheremetev and Princes Golitsyns who stayed in Russia. I hope you'll like it!

Thank you, Douglas

Sorry, two of the links were put up incorrectly!

They should be:

Thank you, Douglas Smith


I am the author of Former People: Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy, due out in the US with Farrar, Straus and Giroux and in the UK with Macmillan in October. I hope the fans of Alexander Palace will take a look at it. It took me many years to research and write. I tracked down descendants of the great aristocratic families in countries throughout the world and have been given access to incredible private letters, memoirs, diaries and photographs. The fate of the Russian aristocracy, which the book traces from roughly 1900 to 1941, is so tragic, so moving and so important.

Learn more from the publisher or Amazon.


And here's the link to my site, a new, revised version of which will go live in the next few weeks. [url][url]

With best wishes, Douglas Smith

Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy [Hardcover]

Douglas Smith (Author)

Publication Date: October 2, 2012

Epic in scope, precise in detail, and heart-breaking in its human drama, Former People is the first book to recount the history of the aristocracy caught up in the maelstrom of the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of Stalin’s Russia. Filled with chilling tales of looted palaces and burning estates, of desperate flights in the night from marauding peasants and Red Army soldiers, of imprisonment, exile, and execution, it is the story of how a centuries’-old elite, famous for its glittering wealth, its service to the Tsar and Empire, and its promotion of the arts and culture, was dispossessed and destroyed along with the rest of old Russia.

Yet Former People is also a story of survival and accommodation, of how many of the tsarist ruling class—so-called “former people” and “class enemies”—overcame the psychological wounds inflicted by the loss of their world and decades of repression as they struggled to find a place for themselves and their families in the new, hostile order of the Soviet Union. Chronicling the fate of two great aristocratic families—the Sheremetevs and the Golitsyns—it reveals how even in the darkest depths of the terror, daily life went on.

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