Wry & Dry

Speaking of despots...

W&D is reading an amazing book, The Romanovs, by the brilliant Simon Sebag Montefiore [4].  W&D is just up to where the dreaded Rasputin comes upstairs, as it were, into the lives of Nicholas II and his nutzo wife Alexandra.  Downstairs, Rasputin had a very competent cook, who later went onto become a cook for Lenin.  And then for Stalin.  

The cook's name was Spiridon Ivanovich Putin.  Vladimir Putin's grandfather.

W&D guesses that the grandfather learnt a great deal about autocracy from his former employers.  And passed the learning down the line.