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A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

The Eclipse of Russia [1918] - Emile Joseph Dillon Hardcover: 417 pagesPublisher: George H. Doran Co (1918)Language EnglishASIN: B0008636EIMy particular copy has a sticker: Library of The University of Virginia: presented by Charlottesville Public LibraryDedication: TO THE MEMORY OF MY FRIEND AND RUSSIA'S UNIQUE STATESMAN, S. I. WITTEOpening: THE RUSSIAN ENIGMA: The misfortunes of Russia and the disillusions of the nations that trusted her promises and relied on her help are attributed to no one circumstance more markedly than the failure of the interested statesmen to grasp the purely predatory character of the Tsardom, its incompatibility with the politico-social ordering of latter-day Europe, the pressing necessity on the one hand and the almost insuperable difficulty on the other of remodelling and adapting it to its European environment.Hmm, this could be a dry read.-------------------------------22/01/2012 In we go - a perfect swallow dive:I am loving this - not for the style of writing but for the hands on information and first hand reporting (no, they are not quite the same thing). Because of its intimacy this comes across as impassioned and vital, far from the dry read envisaged. Page 10 - 'But the Bolsheviks at once outbid the Kadets, took the people into partnership with themselves, and practically offered it the situation of national parasite from which the bureaucracy had just been ousted, the only difference being that the body on which the people was to prey was that of the well to do section of the community.CHAPTER II THE RUSSIAN MINDEver since the dawn of her history, Russia has vegetated, rather than lived, apart from the main European currents - social, religious, political, and scientific - untouched by the prevailing tendencies of the times and with a decided drift of her own to political decomposition.Pointing to the average Russian's propensity to embroider, dissemble and outright lie (at this time 1918; has the outside perception changed? Here Gogol's Dead Souls is cited as an indicator of the slavic predilection for deception).I am reminded of that dreadful *truth* spouted by Prince Felix Youssoupoff in 'Rasputin His Malignant Influence and his Assassination'. Now there is a read to get your head around if you are truly interested in this subject.After much flitting between time lines, CHAPTER XII: RASPUTIN - A SYMBOL is the reason for me buying this book. I needed another account from someone that was around at the time and Dillon should be coming to this from a differing viewpoint than that of Prince Youssoupoff. Dillon starts this chapter stating that R burst in on the scene fourteen years ago. ------------FMIOp. 196 - To the ignorant and almost illiterate peasant Rasputin is attributed a rĂ´le akin to that of Samson in pulling down the pillars of the Russian Tsardom.p. 197 - It is in accordance with the fitness of things that some of the most helpful documentary materials for the early life of this extraordinary man should be laid away in the criminal court of Tobolsk.p. 200 - The Russian character is a many-chorded instrument and the everyday notes, touched by the ordinary events of a life-time, give no impression of those other passionate sounds which a sudden appeal is capable of evoking.p. 201 - He would expose his half-naked body to the wintry winds, walk barefoot in the snow and fast for days. When kneeling before the altar he would strike the ground with his forehead in the usual Orthodox way, but with such unusual violence that the blood trickled down his face.p.202 - This religious temperament explains the number, variety and strange character of the sects in the Tsardom. Thus there is a sect of wanderers whose members may not tarry more than three days in any one place, nor carry any baggage with them in their life-long peregrinations; a sect of religious Nihilists; a numerous sect composed of fanatics who mutilate themselves (skoptsy) most cruelly, earn their livlihood very often as money-changers, help each other generously, and leave their wealth to worthy public charities; a widely spread sect of men and women (Khlysty) who pray together, join hands and dance together and then give themselves up to wide orgies Dillon goes on to name many more of these sects that were operating at the time, so to single out R as a one off seems to be ridiculous except for the political ramifications of the Tsarina's patronage.p. 208 - Nor should it be forgotten that R was but a Siberian Boor who had acquired a slight tincture of information and misinformation respecting the Church and its doctrines.p. 209 - Even educated men of the world such as Prince Yussupoff felt its [magnetic] power.p.217 - To me R seems to have been but one of the symptoms of the disease of which the Tsardom was dying.