The idea for Hope's tale of political intrigue, The Prisoner of Zenda, being the history of three months in the life of an English gentleman, came to him at the close of 1893 as he was walking in London. Hope finished the first draft in a month, and the book was in print by April. The story is set in the fictional European kingdom of 'Ruritania', a term which has come to mean 'the novelist's and dramatist's locale for court romances in a modern setting.' Zenda achieved instant success, and its witty protagonist, the debonair Rudolf Rassendyll, became a well-known literary creation. The novel was praised by Mason, the literary critic Andrew Lang, and Robert Louis Stevenson. The popularity of Zenda convinced Hope to give up the "brilliant legal career [that] seemed to lie ahead of him to become a full-time writer, but he "never again achieved such complete artistic success as in this one book. Also in 1894, Hope produced The God in the Car, a political story.
The sequel to Zenda, Rupert of Hentzau, begun in 1895 and serialised in the Pall Mall Magazine, did not appear between hard covers until 1898. A prequel entitled The Heart of Princess Osra, a collection of short stories set about 150 years before Zenda, appeared in 1896. Hope also co-wrote, with Edward Rose, the first stage adaptation of Zenda, which appeared on the London stage that year. Hope alone wrote the dramatic adaptation of Rupert of Hentzau in 1899.
In 1898, he wrote Simon Dale, an historical novel involving the actress and courtesan Nell Gwyn. Marie Tempest appeared in the dramatisation, called English Nell. One of Hope's plays, The Adventure of Lady Ursula, was produced in 1898. This was followed by his novel The King's Mirror (1899), which Hope considered one of his best works. In 1900, he published Quisanté, and he was elected chairman of the committee of the Society of Authors. He wrote Tristram of Blent in 1901 and Double Harness in 1904, followed by A Servant of the Public in 1905, about the love of acting. In 1906, he produced Sophy of Kravonia, a novel in a similar vein to Zenda; Roger Lancelyn Green is especially damning of this effort. In 1910, he wrote Second String, followed by Mrs Maxon Protests the next year.
In addition, Hope wrote or co-wrote many plays and some political non-fiction during the Great War, some under the auspices of the Ministry of Information. Later publications included Beaumaroy Home from the Wars, in 1919, and Lucinda in 1920. Lancelyn Green asserts that Hope was "a first-class amateur but only a second-class professional writer."
Hope married Elizabeth Somerville (1885/6–1946) in 1903, and they had two sons and a daughter. He was knighted in recognition of his contribution to propaganda efforts during World War I. He published an autobiographical book, Memories and Notes, in 1927. Hope died of throat cancer at the age of 70. There is a blue plaque on his house in Bedford Square, London.
Roche Realty Group Inc., with offices in Meredith, Laconia and Moultonborough, ended 2006 with sales in excess of $113.5 million.(REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION)(Robert Blent sells Bonanza Restaurant to T-B Four Inc.)(Brief article)
Feb 02, 2007; Roche Realty Group Inc., with offices in Meredith, Laconia and Moultonborough, ended 2006 with sales in excess of $113.5 million....
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