The Prisoner of Zenda

Anthony Hope

The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope - click to see full size image

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The Prisoner of Zenda is an adventure novel by Anthony Hope, first published in 1894. Set in the fictional country of Ruritania, it tells the story of the King, who is unable to attend his coronation ceremony because he has been drugged by his younger half-brother, the Duke of Strelsau. It is imperative that the king attends however, in order to retain his crown. He can't though, because he is imprisoned in a castle in a town called Zenda, while the Duke schemes to take his place, helped along by his mistress, Antoinette de Mauban, and his henchman, Count Rupert of Hentzau. Attendants at the palace persuade a distant cousin, who closely resembles the king, to stand in as a decoy - trying to thwart the Duke's attempt to steal power. The cousin agrees but complications set in, when he falls in love with the king's betrothed, Princess Flavia. Unable to tell her the truth, he sets out to rescue the king. The novel and it's use of a fictional Eastern European country, gave rise to a genre called 'Ruritanian Romances'.

This book has 53,968 words, 107 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1894.

Production notes: This ebook of The Prisoner of Zenda was published by Global Grey on the 5th February 2021, and updated on the 7th September 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'Portrait of painter Dmitri Nikolayevich Kardovsky' by Ilya Repin.

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