The Prisoner of Zenda

1894 adventure novel by Anthony Hope / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Prisoner of Zenda is an 1894 adventure novel by Anthony Hope, in which the King of Ruritania is drugged on the eve of his coronation and thus is unable to attend the ceremony. Political forces within the realm are such that, in order for the king to retain the crown, his coronation must proceed. Fortuitously, an English gentleman on holiday in Ruritania who resembles the monarch is persuaded to act as his political decoy in an effort to save the unstable political situation of the interregnum.

Quick facts: Author, Country, Language, Genre, Publisher...
The Prisoner of Zenda
Cover to 2nd edition
AuthorAnthony Hope
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreAdventure fiction, Ruritanian romance
PublisherJ. W. Arrowsmith
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages310 (first edition)
823/.8 21
LC ClassPR4762.P7 1999
Preceded byThe Heart of Princess Osra 
Followed byRupert of Hentzau 
Frontispiece to the 1898 Macmillan Publishers edition, illustrated by Charles Dana Gibson

A sequel, Rupert of Hentzau, was published in 1898 and is included in some editions of The Prisoner of Zenda. The popularity of the novels inspired the Ruritanian romance genre of literature, film, and theatre that features stories set in a fictional country, usually in Central or Eastern Europe,[1] for example Graustark from the novels of George Barr McCutcheon, and the neighbouring countries of Syldavia and Borduria in the Tintin comics.