Review on “Preisoner of Zenda” by Anthony Hope

Anthony Hope

Hope, Anthony, pseudonym of Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins (1863-1933), English novelist and playwright, born in London, and educated at the University of Cambridge. He practiced law from 1887 to 1894 before turning to writing. Although he published several plays and over 20 novels, Hope’s fame rests on his first work, The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), and its sequel, Rupert of Hentzau: This is the story of adventurous life of one of the characters of the very novel (1898). These light novels of adventure, intrigue, and romance set in a mythical European kingdom are typical of the literature popular before World War I. The Prisoner of Zenda was staged for the first time in 1891 and was filmed several times. Hawkins was knighted in 1918 for his services in the British ministry of information during World War I.


The novel Prisoner of Zenda is a novel of adventure of cloak-and-dagger type by Anthony Hope was first published towards the end of nineteenth century. The exact year of its publication is 1894. This is the story of adventurous life of one of the characters of the very novel
This book is written by Anthony Hope and illustrated by Lewis C. Henery. He has worked as an illustrator for many national magazines and now creates and draws cartoons for magazines as well. He has also worked in advertising and children’s educational materials and has drawn and collaborated on several newspaper comic strips, including Annie and Winnie Winkle.

The Book

This book, and indeed the entire series, has been very important to my life. The story is excellent in every way. The pictures are spectacular, and the text is informative and interesting. This beautifully written book is a real find. Every page is filled with suspense, adventure and real drama.
It becomes instantly popular with adolescents and teenagers. It has been widely read over and has now passed through 113 editions. It has been on so great a popularity because young men and growing boys love to read adventure stories. For still younger lads, many abridged edition of this novel have also appeared.
A novel is a long story and every novelist employs a particular manner of telling a story. It is primarily a narrative. The writer has to tell the important events of the story. The novelist not only narrates the events of the story, but also expresses his own view point through the characters of the story. Thus he communicates his personal ideas to the reader. For this purpose he can employ two different means:
The writer can tell his story in the third person and become the story teller himself. This way of telling a story gives the writer an opportunity to look into the minds of the characters of the novel, and can give expressions to his own opinions about behavior and reaction of the characters of the novel and about various things and events. This novel is written in the same language.

Preisoner of Zenda – Summary

One of the most celebrated novels in the English language, the powerfully written and psychologically penetrating Prisoner of Zenda (1894) is partially based on English novelist Anthony Hope’s own experiences.
This novel presents to the reader a curious mixture of the adventure, Melodrama and romance. The plot of the novel is based upon the political changes that were happening in the Ruritania in those days . The changes are sudden and unexpected. The king had died. The new King Rodulf Elphberg Son of dead king is to be crowned in his place. Secrete climate to the throw , Black Micheal , the Son of the late king from a morganatic marriage is making plans to get the thrown of the ruritania .He succeed in winning over a session of the population to his own causes . He succeeds in kidnapping the king just before his coronation and in making him a closely guarded prisoner in the castle of Zenda. It is at this stage Rodulf Ressendle II throws his clever schemes, terms into the picture.
The Prisoner of Zenda, a novel about a man who poses as the heir to the throne in a small European country when the real heir falls into a coma, written by Anthony Hope.Published in 1894. King Rudolf and as his distant cousin Rudolph Rassendyl, who takes the king’s place during his illness. The false king has to fend off assassination attempts engineered by the real king’s brother and his cohort Rupert of Hentzau. He also must convince Princess Flavia that he is her fiancé, and in the process he falls in love with her. During the emperor of false king many romantic scenes appear in the novel which gives a very impressive feeling for the reader.

Leading Characters in the novel

  • (Rudolph Rassendy) Lord Family
  • (King Rudolf V) Nobel Family
  • (Princess Flavia)
  • (Rupert of Hentzau)
  • (Antoinette De Mauban)
  • (Colonel Zapt)
  • (Black Michael)
  • (Captain Fritz von Tarlenheim)
  • (Cook)
  • (Johann)
  • (Detchard)
  • (Kraftstein)
  • (Lauengram)
  • (Bersonin)
  • (De Gauiet)
  • (Michael’s butler)
  • (Cardinal)
  • (Marshal Strakencz)
  • (Josef)
  • (British ambassador)
  • (British ambassador’s wife)
  • (Master of ceremonies)
  • (Von Haugwitz, Lord High Chamberlain)
  • (Bishop)
  • (Orchestra leader)
  • (Passport officer)
  • (Luggage officer)
  • (Duenna)
  • (Porter)
  • (Traveler)
  • (Traveler)
  • (Man)
  • (Station master)
  • (Station attendant)
  • (Guard at lodge)
  • (Guard at lodge)

~ by UTS on October 31, 2009.

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