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The Prisoner of Zenda [Anthony Hope] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Rudolf Rassendyll is the hero of Anthony Hope's fantastic novel, . The Prisoner of Zenda. by Anthony Hope Art by Mireille Fauchon. Familiars. Prisoner Of Zenda Fc. The seventh in our series of Four Corners Familiars takes us. The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope .. book--though it will hardly serve as an introduction to political life, and has not a jot.

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The Prisoner of Zenda (), by Anthony Hope, is an adventure novel in which the King of Ruritania is drugged on the eve of his coronation and thus is unable. Start by marking “The Prisoner of Zenda (The Ruritania Trilogy #2)” as Want to Read: Anthony Hope's swashbuckling romance transports his English gentleman hero, Rudolf Rassendyll, from a comfortable life in London to fast-moving adventures in Ruritania, a mythical land steeped in. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. No cover available.

The seventh in our series of Four Corners Familiars takes us to Ruritania, a land redolent of many Central European countries, but not on any map. There, an English gentleman is mistaken for the country's soon-to-be-crowned King and falls into this remarkable doppelganger to protect the nation's best interests. Mireille Fauchon's edition of the classic adventure novel introduces us to the landscape, people and customs of Ruritania, and to a time thankfully long-distant when the English regarded the rest of Europe as a strange and sinister place. The typefaces used in this edition are: To create the Rudy typeface, Morgan explains, 'the distortion of each letterform is rationalised to a twice vertical repeat. Morgan also cites the typographic experiments of Raymond Hains as a direct influence on the work. You may be interested in The double life of a typeface in Creative Review.

Prisoner of Zenda is a bit too mild I'd say, it's not really melodramatic no moustaches are twirled! It's all adventure and relies purely on mistaken identity and quite a suspension of disbelief, so when the good guys make an attempt to free the prisoner of Zenda from the bad guys they abort the attempt - the bad guys know that a rescue was attempted because one of their goons gets murdered, however they don't move the prisoner view spoiler [nor kill him, and there doesn't seem to be any need for villains to have kept the prisoner alive except to give the good guys somebody to rescue hide spoiler ] , nor do much to strengthen the defences.

If one of re-writing it with serious intent you would develop the plot in all kinds of directions - will 'friendly' neighbouring countries march in with their armies to 'restore order', might Black Michael stage a coup or does Princess Flavia have enough support among junior officers to stage a counter coup, what about the union of rail workers who will they support, if they go on strike can they bring the country to a halt?

Hope ignores this in favour of a simple vision - political skulduggery is not about controlling committee appointments and patronage, it is about a man with a sword facing down assassins with a coffee table and moonlit swimming in a castle moat.

The Prisoner of Zenda

It seems almost a pity to say that it could be more fun. View all 9 comments. Nov 05, Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Prisoner of Zenda is one of those books I've been meaning to read for about twenty years.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I finally took the time to read this classic adventure written by Anthony Hope in Anthony Hope's story of a king kidnapped on the eve of his coronation and his English cousin who takes his place is derring-do a The Prisoner of Zenda is one of those books I've been meaning to read for about twenty years.

Anthony Hope's story of a king kidnapped on the eve of his coronation and his English cousin who takes his place is derring-do at its best. Sure the story has been done over and over again but that's because the story is so entertaining.

It was written at at time before two world wars forever altered the map of Europe. Ruritania exists in a time when it was possible to still imagine tiny kingdoms and principalities tucked among the better known countries. Think of Ruritania existing along side the duchy of Luxembourg and the principality of Monaco. The hero and narrator of Zenda is twenty-nine year Rudolf Rassendyll who shares a name and certain physical features with soon to be crowned Rudolph IV of Ruritania.

Unfortunately for all those involved, Rudolph IV is an idiot and easily falls prey to a plot to take the crown away from him and possibly end his life.

To keep things in check while the king can be found and rescued, Rudolf Rassendyll must play the king. Throughout the narrative Rassendyll gives amusing commentary on politics and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while he is putting himself in harms way both in his portrayal of the king and in trying to rescue Rudolf IV. I am releasing the copy I read soon through BookCrossing as it came to me from another member. I will however be keeping my eyes out for a nice hardback edition for my personal collection.

View 1 comment. Not as good as the Flashman version , but essential background nonetheless. Looking around, I find other people who have pointed this out e. View 2 comments. I'm staying with 4 stars, for old times' sake.

This Victorian-era novel delighted me as a child, back before the invention of the "Young Adult" genre, when I read anything I could get my hands on. It had been years since I last re-read it, so it held some surprises for me this time around. There's a zest and verve to the writing that's perfect for a swashbuckling adventure novel.

Our hero, Rudolf Rassendyl, is more of a rogue than I remembered -- sexual adventures are even hinted at. It's difficult for me to imagine anyone coming to this book as an adult, today, and being willing to cut it much slack. It's very much a product of its time -- but then, it's a rare book that isn't.

Rudolph, as a handsome, wealthy young British aristocrat, without a title but with plenty of means to indulge his whims, is oblivious white male privilege personified.

Yes, a true Victorian hero -- with all the self-satisfaction that implies. His love for the Princess Flavia is insta, and there's plenty of noble forbearance, manly bonding through barely repressed emotions, and stiff-upper-lipping. And then there's Rupert of Hentzau. He starts out as a minor villain in the story, appearing on page for the first time only at the halfway mark, but then proceeds to steal the author's attention and reduce the main villain to pretty much an afterthought in the reader's mind.

He steals Rudolph's attention as well. Rudolph simply cannot help admiring Rupert's handsomeness, his youthful figure, his thick curly hair, his insolent smile, his dauntless courage, his free spirit, his physical grace, his irrepressible humor in the face of danger. Princess Flavia who? It's such an amusing case of an author being seduced by his own creation. Unsurprisingly, the sequel to this book is -- wait for it -- Rupert of Hentzau.

Such fun. Seriously flawed from the modern standpoint, but I sure was lucky to have found this book when I was a kid. View all 6 comments.

The Prisoner of Zenda (Book)

Sep 08, Werner rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Any fan of Romantic-style adventure fiction. Recommended to Werner by: It was a common read in one of my groups. On a "raw and damp" morning in the England of , according to the author's premise, a British nobleman named James Rassendyll fought a duel with a visiting prince of the House of Elphberg, the royal family of the fictional Central European country of Ruritania. Severely wounded, the prince returned home, where he recovered and subsequently ascended the throne, married and continued the royal line.

James contracted a severe respiratory illness on the occasion and died of it this was the pre On a "raw and damp" morning in the England of , according to the author's premise, a British nobleman named James Rassendyll fought a duel with a visiting prince of the House of Elphberg, the royal family of the fictional Central European country of Ruritania.

James contracted a severe respiratory illness on the occasion and died of it this was the pre-antibiotic era six months later, leaving his beautiful widow seven months pregnant with her first son. When born, the boy was legally presumed to be her husband's child and succeeded to the earldom. BUT, he proved to have the distinctive Elphberg long, sharp, straight nose, dark red hair and blue eyes, features not typical of the previous Rassendylls.

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Even in an age before DNA testing and real knowledge of genetics, this provoked conjecture. Of course, in the 18th century, despite both lip service to Christian morals and a traditional sexual double standard, the English aristocracy tended to politely overlook rampant marital infidelity by both husbands and wives, as long as neither spouse was tactless enough to mention it in public.

Elphberg features continued to crop out in the subsequent generations of Rassendylls, who privately knew though they didn't broadcast the fact that they were essentially an out-of-wedlock branch of the Elphbergs. In the author's present, the Elphberg look is particularly marked in younger son Rudolf.

He's a former Army officer, now unemployed and having the late Victorian equivalent of a trust fund not at all interested in being employed. His military training has made him very competent with a sword and a pistol, and a good rider; he also happened to be educated in a German university, so is German-speaking.

Although the rupture of World War I tended to subsequently obscure this, in real life England and Germany had a lot of that kind of cultural contact in the pre-war generations, and even a fair amount of intermarriage in the aristocratic families; so Rudolf's college experience isn't at all unrealistic.

The Ruritanian king having died recently, Rudolf decides on a whim to attend the coronation of the new king, his namesake Prince Rudolf. When the two meet, they discover that they're physically almost exact doubles. That resemblance is going to come in very handy, because trouble is brewing in Ruritania. King Rudolf's not-exactly-loving younger half-brother Duke Michael would prefer to be king himself; and neither filial affection nor respect for human life are very high on his list of values.

Rudolf Rassendyll is a first-person narrator, and it took me a while to warm up to him. He came across to me initially as too flippant, and exuding a smug attitude of entitlement that I consider one of the worst consequences of hereditary aristocracy.

But his tone gets more serious before long; and this proved to be at once a very stirring tale of intrigue, violence, plotting and counter-plotting, with a lot of suspense and action in the face of very real challenges and jeopardies, and a serious exploration of challenging questions of right and wrong, the meaning and value of honor and integrity, of choices between self-service and self-sacrifice.

The clean romantic component of the story is flawed by an "insta-love" factor which, on examination, isn't too credible; but it still lends a very real, compelling emotional power to the tale.

Hope doesn't examine the political and socio-economic realities of the class-conscious, largely elitist and exploitative social order in which his characters move an order destined to be swept away in about 20 years in the convulsions of the Great War , and that's a detrimental blind spot.

But he also evokes a mind-set of principle, honor and integrity which the war would also largely sweep away --and which is much more missed by those who have the discernment to miss such things. One final comment needs to be made. Another Goodreader, commenting on the book, complained of the lack of female characters, save for the "simpering princess" and a housekeeper whose role is minor. However, Princess Flavia never simpers here; she comes across as a strong-inside, intelligent and morally sensitive woman of patriotism and principle, who inspires real respect.

And she's far from the only significant female character here: Antoinette de Mauban, Lady Burlesdon, and even the innkeeper's daughter all play important roles in the story, in their different ways, and they're all well-drawn, and even sympathetic characters despite foibles , who come across as capable people, not caricatures of female ineptitude. Granted, in keeping with 19th-century gender attitudes, they aren't primarily fighters though one might give some characters, and readers, a surprise in that regard.

But this is far from being the kind of "guys only, no girls allowed! Overall, this was a book I liked more than I expected to. I'd recommend it to all fans of Romantic classics, and especially of action-adventure fiction.

View all 4 comments. May 04, Robert rated it liked it Shelves: I was almost immediately reminded of The 39 Steps when I started this book.

Both open with a 1st Person account of the protagonist lacking occupation and being idle just before the action begins and both betray unpleasant attitudes, too. Buchan's Hannay is much worse in this regard than Hope's Rudolf: Hannay is racist, sexist, Imperialist, arrogant and frankly unlikeable.

Rudolf, however, makes one fairly mild sexist remark. There are differences, though: Hannay is bored of being idle whereas Ru I was almost immediately reminded of The 39 Steps when I started this book. Hannay is bored of being idle whereas Rudolf would happily be idle for the rest of his life None of this really matters beyond chapter one of either book, though. It's interesting to compare with Thomas Hardy.

He was contemporary with both Hope and Buchan - but look at the views espoused about women, class, education and social mobility there! Perhaps the lesson is that 'frillers are not the place to look for advanced social attitudes. Because this is most definitely a Victorian 'friller! Get through the first couple of chapters full of expository set-up and this fairly zips along and is far too short to get bogged down in.

Adventure, romance, fictional European Kingdom, sword fights, tragedy Great fun. I would gladly pick up the sequel View all 3 comments. Apr 29, Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: What a great story, a brief but epic adventure. Perhaps some may be tempted to rate it lower because it is not the standard rose-coloured fairytale, but I don't think that is fair. The adventure is fun: Zenda shows the antithesis of Twilight's selfish, obsessive love. There's a paragraph in my Twilight review which is apt here: It is no soppy love story, but it is beautiful.

After finishing it - and yes, there were tears in my eyes - I had the following thoughts. There is something eternal about real love. Selfish love dies in the moment: Real love transcends the moment to live forever, so even if it is not fulfilled here and now it is true and remains forever. And perhaps we can only know how well we love if we are willing - should the need arise - to give it up.

Because this type of love has had to transform every selfish part in it. There are some people that life asks, like this, to give everything. There are others who are asked to give everything by loving those alongside them with their defects and limitations and responsibilities. The first are not more tragic, perhaps they love even more. Both are heroic.

And there is a kind of heartache that actually helps you learn to love, for it expands the heart and pulls it out of itself. We shouldn't fear this kind of heartache, because it lets you discover something more beautiful than you've known before. The last paragraphs in Zenda are beautiful, though perhaps not too well appreciated in our time.

As noble as they are, they are still very human, and yet to see the human side of his struggle only makes it more beautiful, for it is more real. There are moments when I dare not think of it, but there are others when I rise in spirit to where she ever dwells; then I can thank God that I love the noblest lady in the world, the most gracious and beautiful, and that there was nothing in my love that made her fall short in her high duty.

Of that I know nothing; Fate has no hint, my heart no presentiment. I do not know. In this world, perhaps - nay, it is likely - never. And can it be that somewhere, in a manner whereof our flesh-bound minds have no apprehension, she and I will be together again, with nothing to come between us, nothing to forbid our love?

That I know not, nor wiser heads than mine. But if it be never - if I can never hold sweet converse again with her, or look upon her face, or know from her her love; why, then, this side the grave, I will live as becomes the man whom she loves; and, for the other side, I must pray a dreamless sleep. Sep 29, Elizabeth A. This is a classic swashbuckling adventurous romance that involves a lazy, uninspired gentleman who evolves into something more.

Kingly politics, subterfuge, mistaken identity, ruthless villains, swordfights, dungeons, a desirable princess, and rustic, wooded surroundings with country inns and castles are all described in the narration by our protagonist, Rudolf Rassendyll. This is an intriguing, fun, and humorous read with a story whose secrets must be maintained. The Prisoner of Zenda is a fun little tale of adventure and derring-do written at the turn of the century the 19th century, that is by Anthony Hope.

It is a well-known tale. There is danger to a famous personage in this case, the King of Ruritania and there just happens to be a distant cousin who looks exactly like him on the spot who can fill in and help out. There have been many a book and many a film based on this idea Danny Kaye starred in perhaps five different versions of this sort o The Prisoner of Zenda is a fun little tale of adventure and derring-do written at the turn of the century the 19th century, that is by Anthony Hope.

There have been many a book and many a film based on this idea Danny Kaye starred in perhaps five different versions of this sort of thing , but told right it makes for a good story. Fortunately, Anthony Hope tells it right. In Zenda we have Rudolf Rassendyll, an English gentleman whose family has distant "wrong side of the blanket" ties to the royal family of Ruritania.

These ties are evidenced by the red hair and straight nose which shows up every couple of generations At the beginning of the novel, Rudolf is being chastised by his sister-in-law for not doing anything. He is a younger son who, in these days before two world wars will so change everything, has enough of a competence that he doesn't have to do anything.

The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope - Free Ebook

To please her, he says that he will, in six months, take up a post as an attache to an ambassador. In the meantime, the subject of Ruritania has come up and he decides that he will take a vacation to that land of his distant kin. Quite by chance, he finds himself at the same inn as the soon to be crowned King and it is remarked how similar they are in feature--save that the King is now clean-shaven and Rudolf sports a mustache and an "imperial" beard, presume.

When trouble enters the picture and it becomes apparent that the King's half-brother is plotting to take over the kingdom, Rudolf bravely offers his services to foil the plot. This plot begins with drugged wine which so incapicitates the King that it seems he won't be able to attend his own coronation--that is the opening that "Black Michael" is waiting for. Rudolf agrees to impersonate the King at the coronation ceremony and afterward to help protect the monarch.

The plot takes many twists and turns--involving the kidnapping of the King, a longer impersonation than planned, and many swordfights and midnight chases. Things are made all the more difficult when Rudolf falls in love with the King's intended, Princess Flavia. This is an old-fashioned tale about when men were men and loyalty meant something.

It is also a great story of the triumph of good over evil. In today's world, it may seem a little overwrought and dramatic, but there's nothing wrong with a good, solid story of good men and good deeds. Oh, and don't forget the good women.

We have one who risks her life to aid and warn those loyal to the King and we have Princess Flavia who is willing to deny herself her one true love in order to do her duty to her people and fulfill her own brand of loyalty.

A very stirring tale on all counts. Four stars. Sep 04, The Rags of Time rated it really liked it Shelves: The Prisoner of Zenda is a classic story taking place in the fictional German state "Ruritania"—a word which has come to be a generic term for "small fictional country in Europe which saved the writer the trouble of too much research", so well-known was Anthony Hope's story once.

I should probably state up front that I love fictional places; countries, cities, stately homes, the occasional uninhabited island You name it. That I would sooner or later have to visit Ruritania was obviously inevi The Prisoner of Zenda is a classic story taking place in the fictional German state "Ruritania"—a word which has come to be a generic term for "small fictional country in Europe which saved the writer the trouble of too much research", so well-known was Anthony Hope's story once.

That I would sooner or later have to visit Ruritania was obviously inevitable. You've surely encountered it in some form before. The idea is that you have two people so incredibly alike that they can switch places and none will be the wiser. In this case, the reason is a common ancestor and obviously very dominant genes, and the result is that Rudolf Rassendyll and King Rudolf of Ruritania look exactly the same. Due to sinister plots and intrigues, Rassendyll is forced to take the king's place while he is imprisoned in the castle of Zenda.

This leads to romantic entanglements when the king's future wife and cosuin Flavia suddenly finds herself liking Rudolf a lot more than she ever did before, and swashbuckling adventure as the king must be saved and put safely back on the throne. Rassendyll isn't a bad sort of character — he's reasonably likeable and not insufferably goody-two-shoes. He's not splendidly charismatic either — the major star of the book is without a doubt the utterly despicable and dashingly handsome villain Rupert of Henzau who kills and kisses with the same flair and splendid lack of remorse.

Flavia is nice and not a nitwit at all; she doesn't actually require saving even once, mostly because she behaves perfectly reasonably take note, modern writers! There are sword-fights and moat-swimming and the occasional witty verbal exchange so I can't complain. I also find the description of Rudolf's life as a royal fairly realistic in the peculiar mix of power and circumscription.

The plot is obviously over the top ridiculous and the book is clearly not written yesterday, but it mostly shows in a rather charming way. Vintage, rather than mouldy. I especially love the very period realistic touches, such as when Rudolf goes on a swimming mission at night and describes his dress as: I had rubbed myself with oil, and I carried a large flask of whisky. To sum up; a classic swashbuckling adventure that still entertains after all these years and is a must for lovers of the genre.

Jul 27, Alex rated it really liked it Recommended to Alex by: Prisoner of Zenda is a little slip of a book: Filmed numerous times, including as El pointed out once when it was called Dave and had Kevin Kline in it, and another time when it played out in the background of a Bojack Horseman episode. And it was the major influence on Nabokov's Pale Fire, which basically amounts to an extended trippy metafictional cover of the same story.

Here's more on the similarities, if you need convincing. The story: What's your problem, that movie is awesome. And then there's some buckling of swashes, and this terrific villain, Rupert Hentzau, who very nearly runs off with the story. You can see Hope itching to switch to him, and in fact he wrote a sequel called Rupert of Hentzau that I wouldn't be against reading myself. It's a great plot, executed well and leanly; this might not be the world's heaviest book, but you could certainly do a lot worse with your weekend.

This may not be entirely fair; the former was written some 40 years before the latter, and Sabatini almost certainly read Hope's famous adventure novel and so could both take inspiration from and improve upon it. With that said, it's hard not to find The Prisoner of Zenda lacking by comparison. Swashbuckling fiction, at it's core, depends upon the hero being dropped into an impossible situa Reading Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda, I find myself comparing it to Raphael Sabatini's Scaramouche.

Swashbuckling fiction, at it's core, depends upon the hero being dropped into an impossible situation from which only reckless daring can save the day. In the case of The Prisoner of Zenda, gentleman at leisure Rudolf finds himself having to take the place of the King of the fictional nation of Ruritania, protecting the throne for the country's rightful King whilst he's held prisoner by his unscrupulous brother.

To a modern reader, however, the book will often feel sexist in a way that's more preposterous than offensive. Women are characterized first and foremost by their beauty, and in fact, their beauty is the best indicator of their underlying goodness. That 'goodness' is no less superficial in that it's entirely about being demure and devoted rather than the female characters having any agency of their own. They exist, quite simply, to love men.

It's true that The Prisoner of Zenda was written in the s, but even through that lens, you'll likely find the women in the novel rather ridiculous. The men, too, are rather over-the-top, defined entirely by the narrator's notion of their masculinity.

Again, it's an older novel, but I'm not indicting it so much as explaining what held me back from fully enjoying it. Raphael Sabatini's Scaramouche carries many of the same swashbuckling tropes, but within its more complex and nuanced characters the reader can find more depth, and, most importantly, more questioning of the underlying ideology of its time. Set during the French Revolution, Scaramouche regularly forces its main character and we the reader to consider both the side of the revolutionaries and the royalists.

Further, it sets itself not always in Paris, but often in the countryside, making us see a bit of what farmers and regular folk were dealing with.

And while I can't say that Sabatini's female characters resonate entirely to a modern audience, but they do have some level of agency. Without introducing any spoilers, I should say that the end of The Prisoner of Zenda felt much more compelling and nuanced to me. Both Rudolf the hero and Flavia the woman he loves were given room to teeter on the edge of choosing love over duty, and the way those final moments played out were captivating for me.

So after all my complaints, I still find myself at least a little tempted to pick up the sequel, Rupert of Hentzau, so perhaps I enjoyed The Prisoner of Zenda more than I thought while I was reading it.

I think I'd make a terrible book critic. Jul 29, Hussam H. A somehow predictable an simpleton book, maybe a good YA title. Nothing espectacular, just a fun light read. Read out of curiosity after having read and enjoyed The Henchmen of Zenda: Having been disappointed by a couple of recent reads, I thought I would revisit a book from many years ago, one that I thoroughly enjoyed at that time.

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