This adventure novel tells the story of Rudolf Rassendyll, younger brother of the Earl of Burlesdon and a distant cousin of Rudolf V, the new King of Ruritania. King Rudolf is a hard-drinking, feckless playboy, unpopular with the common people, but supported by the aristocracy. When Rudolf is abducted and imprisoned on the order of the Duke of Streslau, Rassendyll has to impersonate the King at his coronation. There are various plots and counter-plots, with the schemings of the Duke's mistress Antoinette de Mauban, and of the villainous henchman Rupert of Hentzau, complicated by Rassendyll's romance with Princess Flavia, the King's betrothed.
Oh no! He's gone back to be present at the King's coronation; a ceremony which, I should say, he'll not enjoy much. But, Bert, old man, don't despair! He won't marry the fair Antoinette--at least, not unless another plan comes to nothing. Still perhaps she--" He paused and added, with a laugh: "Royal attentions are hard to resist--you know that, don't you, Rudolf?"
"Confound you!" said I; and rising, I left the hapless Bertram in George's hands and went home to bed.
The next day George Featherly went with me to the station, where I took a ticket for Dresden.
"Going to see the pictures?" asked George, with a grin.
George is an inveterate gossip, and had I told him that I was off to Ruritania, the news would have been in London in three days and in Park Lane in a week. I was, therefore, about to return an evasive answer, when he saved my conscience by leaving me suddenly and darting across the platform. Following him with my eyes, I saw him lift his hat and accost a graceful, fashion
A very beautifully writtwn books by A.Hope and spwacially the plottnd a part called the jacobs ladder...takes u actually back to the time of the depreciated.......
One of the first great thrillers, and still one of the best.