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The prisoner of Zenda

By Anthony Hope
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Book Description

Five times made into film versions since its original publication in 1894, "The Prisoner of Zenda" is a perennially popular adventure and romance story. Anthony Hope's swashbuckling romance transports his English gentleman hero, Rudolf Rassendyll, from a comfortable life in London to fast-paced adventures in Ruritania, a mythical land steeped in political intrigue. An Englishman vacationing in the tiny European country of Ruritania, Rassendyll meets and befriends the soon-to-be-crowned King Rudolf--his exact and identical double. When the King is kidnapped by the dastardly Black Michael, Rassendyll must impersonate the King in the coronation ceremony...and in the heart of the Queen. Hope's handling of the romance between Rassendyll and Queen Flavia is both a daring and romantic love story and a subtle examination of the meaning of honor and duty to a gentleman. While impersonating the rightful king in order to rescue him from the castle Zenda, Rassendyll also faces tests of honor with the beautiful Princess Flavia, and enduring tests of strength in his encounters with the villainous Black Michael and his handsome, debonair bodyguard, Rupert of Hentzau. Of course there's plenty of swordplay and derring-do along the way. The greatest swashbuckler novel of them all, Anthony Hope's "The Prisoner of Zenda" is a classic you'll come back to again and again: over a hundred years after being written, it's still as sharp as a rapier point. "The Prisoner of Zenda" is something of a rarity: a Victorian adventure novel that is as fresh and entertaining to read in this modern jaded age as it was in 1894. If Tom Clancy was writing this one, there'd be nuclear weapons instead of swords and email instead of telegrams, but even he couldn't pull off the simple but subtle romantic story and the triumphant but poignant ending like Anthony Hope does in "The Prisoner of Zenda."

Table of Contents
  • THE PRISONER OF ZENDA
  • Chapter Titles
  • CHAPTER 1
    • The Rassendylls—With a Word on the Elphbergs
  • CHAPTER 2
    • Concerning the Colour of Men’s Hair
  • CHAPTER 3
    • A Merry Evening with a Distant Relative
  • CHAPTER 4
    • The King Keeps His Appointment
  • CHAPTER 5
    • The Adventures of an Understudy
  • CHAPTER 6
    • The Secret of a Cellar
  • CHAPTER 7
    • His Majesty Sleeps in Strelsau
  • CHAPTER 8
    • A Fair Cousin and a Dark Brother
  • CHAPTER 9
    • A New Use for a Tea-table
  • CHAPTER 10
    • A Great Chance for a Villain
  • CHAPTER 11
    • Hunting a Very Big Boar
  • CHAPTER 12
    • I Receive a Visitor and Bait a Hook
  • CHAPTER 13
    • An Improvement on Jacob’s Ladder
  • CHAPTER 14
    • A Night Outside the Castle
  • CHAPTER 15
    • I Talk with a Tempter
  • CHAPTER 16
    • A Desperate Plan
  • CHAPTER 17
    • Young Rupert’s Midnight Diversions
  • CHAPTER 18
    • The Forcing of the Trap
  • CHAPTER 19
    • Face to Face in the Forest
  • CHAPTER 20
    • The Prisoner and the King
  • CHAPTER 21
    • If love were all!
  • CHAPTER 22
    • Present, Past—and Future?
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