It’s day twenty-nine of the 30 Day Writing Challenge, and today’s prompt is: One Hundred Years.
It’s also the second day I’ve been in bed with a rotten head cold, which is kind of a bummer. Streaming eyes and a stuffed up head are not that conducive to writing, or much else for that matter. However, onwards and upwards!
So, for the prompt, I decided to look back one hundred years to see if anything of note happened on December 29, 1916. It was a different world then – there was still a Tsar in Russia, the First World War was raging, and women throughout most of the world still did not have the right to vote, or do much of anything else for that matter.
On this day one hundred years ago, James Joyce’s first novel, A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, was published. Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, and is considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, his most famous work being Ulysses.
The other event of note that happened on this day one hundred years ago was the assassination of Rasputin, the ‘Mad Monk’ who, many say, contributed to the downfall and eventual murder of the Russian Imperial Family by Bolsheviks. Rasputin was a favourite of the Family, particularly the Empress, because of his strange ability to ease the suffering of the young Tsarevitch, who suffered from haemophilia. However, his reported behaviour, often exaggerated in the press, added to the feelings of distrust and anger against the Imperial family, and so a small group of nobles decided they needed to do away with him, in the hope of saving the monarchy.
On the evening of December 29th, Rasputin was invited to the St Petersburg home of Prince Felix Yusupov. He was fed poisoned cakes and wine, yet suffered no seeming ill-effects. He was then shot, but still refused to die. Eventually, he was thrown into the Neva, where his frozen body was found the following morning – apparently still alive when he went into the water.
The murder ended up being to no avail – the following year the Bolsheviks took power, and the Imperial Family were sent into exile and, eventually, executed. Oddly enough, Rasputin was said to have predicted his death would be followed by their downfall – a prophecy that came true.
Quite a dark note to end on, I suppose, but it has been a very odd year. Right, I’m off to bed, in the hopes I can knock this cold on the head and actually enjoy what’s left of the holidays. See you all tomorrow for the final day of the Challenge.