In printing my second historical novel, I consider it my duty to bring a most grateful gratitude to my compatriots for the flattering reception they made of “Yuri Miloslavsky.” Assuming to compose these two novels, I had in mind to describe the Russians in two memorable historical epochs, similar to each other, but separated by two centuries; I wanted to prove that although the external forms and the physiognomy of the Russian nation have completely changed, but have not changed with them: our unshakable loyalty to the throne, attachment to the faith of our ancestors and love for our homeland. I do not know if I have achieved this goal, but, in any case, I think it necessary to ask my readers for the following:
1. Do not be annoyed with me that in this modern novel I do
2. Do not forget that a historical novel is not history, but an invention based on a true event.
3. Do not demand from me a report, why I describe exactly that, and not that incident; or for what, mentioning one historical person, I do not say a word about the other. And finally:
4. Granting the full right of the readers to blame me if my Russians are not like the Russians of the year 1812 with us, I ask, however, not to be angry with me because they are not all good, clever and kind, or vice versa: do not laugh over my patriotism, if between my Russians there are many intelligent, kind and even truly enlightened people.
To those who, in the Russian silent officer, recognize the historical face of the time – I confess in advance in a small anachronism: this officer really was, under the name of the Florentine merchant, in Danzig, but not at the end of the siege, but at the beginning of this.
The intrigue of my novel is based on a true incident – now it is forgotten; but I still remember a time when it was the subject of general conversations and when the curses of offended Russians rattled over the head of the unfortunate, which I called Polina in my novel.
“Nature is in full color, green
So says the eloquent writer “Letters of a Russian officer”, beginning to describe the domestic war of 1812. Accustomed to consider himself visible to the fate of peoples, the representative of all the forces, all the power of Europe, the Emperor of the French must have hated Russia. It seemed that she alone, not separated by the sea or by deserted deserts from the lands that were subject to him, did not tremble his name. Strong love of subjects, firm in faith