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|Wednesday, November 14th, 2012|
Fic: The Blood of the Hentzaus
The Blood of the Hentzaus
(44477 words) by El Staplador
Fandom: Zenda Novels - Anthony Hope
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Major Character Death
Characters: Fritz von Tarlenheim, Helga von Strofzin (Tarlenheim), Princess Flavia, Elisabeth von Tarlenheim (OFC), Maria Adler (OFC), Theresa von Strofzin (OFC), Heinrich (Heinz) von Tarlenheim (OMC), Leopold von Tarlenheim (OMC), Karl von Tarlenheim (OMC), Colonel Sapt, Nikolas von Werdenstein (OMC)
1891. It is sixteen years since Mr Rassendyll first set foot in Ruritania, and thirteen since the events described in Rupert of Hentzau. It is twelve years since Queen Flavia was crowned monarch of Ruritania in her own right. Elisabeth, beloved only daughter of Fritz and Helga von Tarlenheim, is growing up in a peaceful and prosperous country. In Ruritania, however, one can only be sure of two things: that the Hentzaus fear nothing, and that, if there is a plot, the Tarlenheims are in it up to the neck.
|Friday, July 27th, 2012|
BBC radio programme 'Looking for Ruritania'
It was broadcast last Tuesday: a half-hour-long vaguely jokey documentary fronted by comedian Tony Hawks on 'where is Ruritania, what is Ruritania like and why - i.e. what function does it fulfil in the British (and other English-speaking) imagination?' Nothing hugely profound, but anyone here from Blighty might like to catch it on BBC IPlayer. It's here.
|Thursday, November 3rd, 2011|
May I present your Majesty and the court here assembled both with my humble compliments and with my credentials as a student of Ruritanian history. I am visiting this fair city in the hope that I may find here ample material for my monograph on the early life of Elisabeth von Tarlenheim, only daughter of Fritz and Helga von Tarlenheim, and in particular her association with Maria Adler, known also as Maria Hentzau, up to and during the succession crisis of 19--.
I am most grateful for the facilities already afforded me here, and I trust that in time my labours will bear fruit that may prove a diversion to your noble selves.
|Monday, March 22nd, 2010|
AU Zenda/221B Baker Street fanfic (‘ware spoilers)
This little book started well, with a messenger from Rudolf V’s Ruritania arriving at Baker Street, and I had high hopes for it. It’s written in the first person from the POV of Dr Watson, like the original Sherlock Holmes stories, and I think the pastiche of Doyle-writing-as-Watson’s style is pretty well done.
My enthusiasm slackened a bit when one of the Anthony Hope characters (I’m doing my best to minimise spoilers) dies who doesn’t die in the books; was jolted severely when I read that Queen Flavia had “raven-black hair” (I mean, WTF? Everybody who knows Hope’s Ruritanian novels at all at all – and who else is going to be interested in a story based on them? – knows that Flavia had the Elphberg red hair!) and dropped to nearly nil as it became clear that the author had jettisoned the Anthony Hope story arc completely and was going to give it a completely AU ending. His plot resolution is all right in its way, but not a patch on Hope’s. Anyway, I do like riffs on classic stories to work with the plot of the original, even if (especially if?) they turn that plot inside out.
But an even bigger fault of the book is the characterisation of Rupert of Hentzau. In the original books Rupert is a charismatic and utterly convincing character; dashing, charming, a sporting risk-taker, and not so devoid of a gentleman’s instincts that he doesn’t, in a backhanded way, admire Rassendyll and even half-wish at times that he were like him. Stuart Davies’ Rupert is just a cruel, sneering, ambitious villain, useful only as a driver for the plot; he is in himself of no interest at all. He is aiming to overthrow Rudolf V to take the throne himself (Davies doesn’t explain what claim he has to it). This contradicts everything we know about Anthony Hope’s Rupert, who would never want to do anything as tedious as be a King, and who plots against the good guys partly for hard cash but mostly for devilment, just to see if he can get away with it.
All in all, it’s probably worth paying the very modest cover price if you’re a fan of Conan Doyle or Anthony Hope; but not worth going to any serious trouble to find.
|Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009|
Another practitioner of Ruritanian-type fiction
I've just been re-reading a couple of works by a contemporary of Hope's, who also dabbled in creating fictional Germanic states: S R Crockett. It's interesting to contrast and compare: Hope is by far the better writer; Crockett's scenarios have potential which he squanders through sheer carelessness or his insufferable sentimentality. ( Read more...Collapse ) Current Mood: amused
|Friday, October 3rd, 2008|
Hope-Hawkins on the Front Line
I'm listening to Once Upon A Time On The Front Line
, a Radio Four documentary about British soldiers recording bedtime stories for their children to listen to while they're away. It's a repeat; I remember hearing it a while ago.
But this time I noticed that one of the wives introduced herself as [Something] Hope-Hawkins. And I was just wondering "Can that be...?" when she referred to "my husband, Rupert". That's got to be, hasn't it?
|Wednesday, April 9th, 2008|
Illustrated Souvenir of 1896 stage production
I now have a copy of the illustrated souvenir of the 1896 stage production of Prisoner of Zenda
, starring George Alexander and Evelyn Millard. I shall scan and post in due course. There are some hilarious moustaches, notably on Fritz and Rupert, of the sharply angled Kaiser Wilhelm II variety.
But what is notable about the Edward Rose stage version is the inclusion of a prologue set in the 1730s, with Rassendyll's ancestors. From the snippet of script included, and what I've read elsewhere about the play, Crown Prince Rudolf (played by the lead) seems to be depicted as a 'goodie', not merely a raffish young seducer, while Amelia's husband is a villain in league with Rudolf's bad cousin Duke Wolfgang, the first 'Black Elphberg' (played by the actor who later plays Michael). Indeed, from what I've read about the Rose stage version (I haven't read the full script, so please correct me if I'm wrong), I think he depicts Michael as a descendant of Wolfgang's rival branch of Elphbergs, not as Rudolf's morganatic younger half-brother. Current Mood: intrigued
|Thursday, December 6th, 2007|
I just finished The Prisoner of Zenda, and...
I have just finished reading my 1898 Grosset and Dunlap edition of The Prisoner of Zenda. I got it because it was in good condition, very inexpensive at the used bookshop, and I knew that it was a major milestone in the development of adventure literature. Then I started to actually read it, and OMG SO, SO GOOD. Current Mood: contemplative
|Tuesday, November 6th, 2007|
Still looking for…
The 1984 BBC version of Prisoner of Zenda
. Please, is there anyone out there with it?! Current Mood: anxious
|Thursday, October 18th, 2007|
|Thursday, October 11th, 2007|
Somebody just introduced me to this site
. As soon as I could stop spluttering with mirth and climb back into my chair, I had to share it here!
|Thursday, October 4th, 2007|
Doctor Who version now on DVD
I see that the Doctor Who
version of PofZ
, The Androids of Tara
, is now on DVD, although it seems to be only as part of a boxed set of the Key to Time
stories in R2. (There is a separate edition of the individual story in R1 NTSC.) Current Mood: curious
|Tuesday, June 19th, 2007|
|Monday, June 11th, 2007|
A gentleman in Australia, Paul Lloyd
, has designed some lovely fonts, named Hentzau Initials, Ruritania, Strelsau and Zenda, which are available free on his site! He must be a fan!
The Black Jewels collection is a must for lovers of Fraktur, as is Blackletter Revival
. All entirely suitable for Ruritanian publications! Current Mood: happy
|Monday, March 5th, 2007|
|Thursday, March 1st, 2007|
On a recent trip to St Andrews, I managed to get a (damaged) Baedecker Northern Germany volume for £4!
It has a lot of information on the route to Ruritania - trains on the Dresden-Prague line (which, as we all know, goes via Zenda and Strelsau!), maps & c. Something that strikes me is that the railway line follows the river Elbe, which must flow right through the country, and be one of its economic mainstays for trade.
I hope to post more on this as I investigate the book... Current Mood: cheerful
|Thursday, February 15th, 2007|
|Saturday, December 2nd, 2006|
|Tuesday, November 7th, 2006|
|Tuesday, September 26th, 2006|
1952 PofZ on BBC2, Friday 6 October
An alert for UK members:
On Friday 6 October, 1.35 pm, BBC2 is screening the 1952 version (a colour shot-for-shot remake of the 1937 one) of The Prisoner of Zenda
Stewart Granger as the Rudolfs, Deborah Kerr as Flavia, Robert Douglas (who had played the Rudolfs on the radio, as was noted earlier) as Michael, Jane Greer as Antoinette, James Mason as Rupert, and Robert Coote as Fritz. Current Mood: happy