Hope, Anthony

Tagged: Author

(1863-1933) UK author whose relevance to sf is indirect though pervasive. Ruritania – the imaginary country in the Polish/German (now Polish-Czech) borderlands where the action of The Prisoner of Zenda: Being the History of Three Months (1894) takes place – is the locus classicus for many similar imaginary lands, governed by petty monarchs with large families, in a very large number of Planetary Romances and Space Operas. As in the Lost World novels which clearly inspired Hope, the protagonist of his tale (Rudolf Rassendyl) travels to a dream-like feudal world, discovers he is the Double [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] of a member of the royal family, in his case the King himself, and saves his life by impersonating him, but falls in love with the royal's fiancee, though nobly (being English) he exiles himself. Unlike most Lost Worlds, Ruritania survives the ministration of this dreamer, though Rudolf himself does not survive the sequel, Rupert of Hentzau (1898), during the course of which – once again covering for the King – he is assassinated. Beyond a plethora of coincidences and doublings, and a dream-like sense of magic enablement, there is nothing inherently fantasticated in Hope's actual tales, beyond the fact that Ruritania does not exist. [JC]

Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins

born London: 9 February 1863

died Walton on the Hill, Surrey: 8 July 1933

works (highly selected)

series

Ruritania

links

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