Lizzie Ross’ questioning review of this prequel of sorts to The Prisoner of Zenda brings out the challenges it has for us moderns. But I’m still looking forward to reading it, thanks to those questions! http://lizzierosswriter.com/2014/02/19/beauty-is-a-curse/
A review of The Prisoner of Zenda on Calmgrove’s blog inspired today’s post. At his urging, I found a copy of The Heart of Princess Osra, Anthony Hope’s prequel to his dashing Victorian romance about Ruritania. Zenda is set in the late 1800s; Osra 150 years earlier. The prequel is the story of a beautiful princess (the ancestress of Zenda‘s hero, Rudolph Rassendyll) whose task is to learn about love.
Osra has two brothers, Rudolph and Henry. Their father, King Henry, rules with the temper of a lion — slow to anger, but wrathful when provoked. Rudolph is a wastrel, Henry in love with the wrong person, and Osra so beautiful that gentlemen of the aristocracy do the masculine equivalent of fainting whenever they first set eyes on her — they fall to their knees and kiss her hand. Although she’s unable to understand or appreciate their love for…
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