This swashbuckling romance transports a droll young English gentleman from his comfortable life in London to a fast-moving adventure in a mythical country steeped in political intrigue. Rudolf Rassendyll, pondering his life's purpose, sets out on a journey to the tiny European kingdom of Ruritania, where he discovers that he bears a marked physical resemblance to the king. Perils and adventures ensue when he decides to impersonate the king in order to defeat a plot to dethrone him, and falls deeply in love with the king's betrothed, Princess Flavia. With its witty hero and shrewd villains, The Prisoner of Zenda became an instant classic when it appeared in 1894 and has been made into a film five times since.
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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 political intrigue. Rassendyll bears a striking resemblance to Rudolf Elphberg who is about to be crowned King of Ruritania. When the rival to the throne, Black Michael of Strelsau, attempts to seize power by imprisoning Elphberg in the Castle of Zenda, Rassendyll is obliged to impersonate the King to uphold the rightful sovereignty and ensure political stability. Rassendyll endures a trial of strength in his encounters with the notorious Rupert of Hentzau, and a test of a different sort as he grows to love the Princess Flavia. Five times filmed, The Prisoner of Zenda has been deservedly popular as a classic of romance and adventure since its publication in 1894.
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