Favorite daughter of Grigori Rasputin Maria Rasputin was born Matryona Grigorievna Rasputina, March 29, 1899, in the Siberian village of Pokrovskoye, Tobolsk Governorate. Her mother Praskovia Fyodorovna Dubrovina was the only who called her by her birth name Matryona. As a teenager Matryona changed her provincial name to Maria. Rasputin had brought his favorite daughter Maria Rasputin and her younger sister Varvara to live with him in St. Petersburg in 1913. Maria took much after her father, she was loved by noble women of the high society of St.Petersburg, the adoration for her father was spread on her. Ladies kissed the tall teenager and called her by her pet names “Mara” and “Marochka”. Rasputin’s daughter received much attention from princesses and countesses.
Grigori Rasputin taught his beloved daughter Maria to be generous even in times when she was in need herself. Rasputin said she should never leave home with empty pockets, but should always have something in them to give to the poor. Grigori called Maria ‘The Little One’, he loved his daughter, and even after his death he watched over her like guardian angel, that was probably the reason Maria survived, and had lived till 1977.
Maria’s sister Varvara died in Moscow of typhus in 1925, Dmitry – in exile in Salekhard. In 1930 he was sent there with his mother Paraskeva Feodorovna and wife Feoktista. Mother died on the road to exile. Dmitry died of dysentery December 16, 1933, on the anniversary of his father’s death, three months after death of his wife and little daughter Lisa.
Rasputin’s family. In the center – the widow of Grigory Rasputin Paraskeva Feodorovna, left – son Dmitry, right – his wife Feoktista Ivanovna. In the background – Ekaterina Pecherkina (worker in the house)
After the murder of Grigori Rasputin, his followers asked Maria to marry Boris Soloviev, the Treasurer of the Holy Synod and one of her father’s admirers. Boris Soloviev quickly emerged as Rasputin’s successor after the murder. Soloviev, who had studied hypnotism, attended meetings at which Rasputin’s followers attempted to communicate with the dead through prayer meetings and séances. Maria later wrote in her diary that she could not understand why her father had told her to “love Boris”. She added she did not like Boris at all.
Soloviev also wrote in his diaries that he didn’t like Maria, and found her not attractive at all. Despite this fact the couple married on October 5, 1917. They returned to Siberia and lived for several weeks in Rasputin’s house at Pokrovskoye. In the family of Maria and Boris were born two girls, named in honor of Grand Duchesses – Tatiana and Maria. The youngest daughter was born abroad, after Boris and Maria had left Russia.
Prague, Berlin, Paris … Wanderings were long. In 1926, Boris died of tuberculosis and Maria was left with two children on hands almost penniless. The restaurant, opened by her husband went bankrupt: there often dined in debt poor immigrants.
Maria Rasputin worked as a dancer in a cabaret – finally came in handy dance lessons, which she took at Imperial Theaters in St. Petersburg. During one of the performances she was approached by the manager of an English circus, he offered her to work in a circus with lions. Maria agreed. They say her look was enough to stop any predator. Soon Maria Rasputin worked in the circus of Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus and Gardner Circus.
Later Matrona moonlighted nanny, a nurse at the hospital, gave Russian lessons, met with reporters, wrote a great book about her father entitled ‘Rasputin. Why?’
Marya G. died in 1977 in California of a heart attack on 80th year of life. Her grandchildren and now reside in the West. One of the granddaughters , Laurence Io – Solovyov , who lives in France, but it is often in Russia.
“I love my father. As much as others hate him. I have not the strength to make others love him”.
Surprisingly intertwined destinies of daughter Irina Yusupova and daughter of Matrona and Boris Soloviev. Without knowing anything about each other, they met in Greece, both under new names. As soon as they met, they immediately imbued with a deep sympathy for each other, became inseparable. And only when parting granddaughter of Rasputin admitted who she was, the stunned daughter of Yusupov confessed: “My father killed your grandfather.” In the photo: Irina Feliksovna Yusupova.