“Word and Deed” is a historical novel by Valentin Pikul dedicated to the period of the reign of Empress Anna Ioannovna (1730–40). Written in 1961-71, published in 1974-75.
|Word and deed|
|Date of writing||1961 - 1971|
|Date of first publication||1974 - 1975|
The novel consists of two books: "The Queen of the Most Fearful Eyes" and "My Gracious Confidential." Each book is divided into “chronicles”, five “chronicles” in each, plus one more “Last chronicle” in the second book.
- Book 1. The Queen of the Most Fearful
The first book covers the events of the short reign of Peter II , the attempts of the Russian nobility after the death of Peter II to limit the power of the monarchy in the country, the composition of the so-called "conditions", the conditions that Anna Ioannovna had to follow when ascending the throne. These "conditions" would very much limit the power of the Empress. With the help of Osterman, she manages to deceive the authors of this project and, after ascending the throne, to inflict cruel reprisals on them. The book ends with the elevation of Volyn at the court.
- Book 2. My kind confidential
The second book displays the events of Field Marshal Munnich’s unsuccessful Turkish campaign, the case of Volynsky , the death of Anna Ioannovna , the short period of Biron's regency and the end of Bironovshchina, the rule of Anna Leopoldovna and, finally, the coup d'état by Elizabeth .
“Word and Deed” develops the theme of the “ Ice House ” by I. I. Lazhechnikov (1835), one of the first historical novels in Russia, where the rule of Anna Ioannovna is interpreted in a simplified way as the era of confrontation between Russian patriots and the “nemchura”. Written in the manner characteristic of Pikul (processing of facts that were little known at the time to the general public and piquant historical jokes), the novel as a whole reflects the theory of the “dominance of foreigners” absolutely negative for Russia in the reign of Anna Ioannovna . The Russian government, headed by Duke Biron and Vice Chancellor Osterman, was shown in a negative light at that time, while their opponent, Artemy Volynsky, was launched as a “progressive Russian man”, a leader of “resistance” to Biron and Osterman. In fact, the figure of Volyn is much more controversial. However, Pikul does not hide the vices and shortcomings of Volynsky, showing his penchant for bribery and embezzlement, but all this fades before he decided to challenge Biron, Osterman and other Germans in power.