Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope - 1894

Sir Anthony Hope

February 8, 1863 - Lower Compton - UK

Educated as a barrister and a lawyer, he wrote 32 works of fiction.  Only two are still read, with The Prisoner of Zenda now by far the most still read.

YouTube has the 1979 movie starring Peter Sellers.  I thought it captured the comic spirit of the book.  Five 

Movies have been based on The Prisoner of Zenda.

1894 - The Prisoner of Zenda

1898 - Rupert of Hentzau

July 8, 1933 - Walton on the Hill, UK

I am not sure what motivated to read The Prisoner of Zenda.  Maybe I just wanted to read a classic that I knew would probably be a fun easy read, it was only 142 pages and the Kindle edition was free.  

The novel is set in the imaginary kingdom of Ruritania.  It is a political action mistaken identity fantasy work.  The novel 

centers on Rudolf Rassendyll.  From London he leaves his comfortable life there for the kingdom of Ruritania,a small country in central Europe.  It turns he looks like the twin brother of the King,Elphberg.  On the eve of his cornation the King is kidnapped and held as a prisoner.  The king’s evil brother Prince Rupert, hoping to steal the throne is behind the plot.  If the King does not show up to be cornated, his 

brother will declare him dead and take the throne.  After 

that he and his henchmen will make the King disappear.  The advisor to the King meets Rudolph and trains him to play the part of the King. 

There is a romance, The king’s intended bride falls for 

Rudolph. There are violent conflicts and lots of exciting plot twists.

This was a fun book.  After i finished it I discovered there is even a genre of literature called Ruritania fiction which means a work set in an imaginary kind of comic opera 


I might read Rupert of Hentzau.



Terra said...

I do like to read humorous books, my go to writer for laughter is P.G. Wodehouse, always a spirit lifter.

mudpuddle said...

rupert the reprehensible... the sequel, Rupert of Hentzau is not as good: it's harder to read for one thing... the old black and white movie had one of the greatest sword fight scenes in it that i've ever seen...

Mel u said...

Terra, thsnks for your suggestion

Mel u said...

Mudpuddle - just wondering if you have yet read Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome ?