Anthony Hope's swashbuckling classic tale of adventure and romance: Ruritania, a beautiful kingdom in the mountains between Germany and Austria, is in the midst of a power struggle. On one side is the alcoholic lay-about crown prince, Rudolf - popular with the upper class and army - and on the other is his half-brother, Michael, who has the love of the common people. The struggle reaches a new fervor at Rudolf's coronation, when Michael kidnaps his brother and takes him to the Castle of Zenda. Now the only thing in the way of Black Michael's plan is a confused distant cousin in England.
But a man named Rudolf Rassendyll could ruin Michael's plan. Rassendyll bears a striking resemblance to the kidnapped king Rudolf. After the king's disappearance, Rassendyll poses as the sovereign in order to maintain order - and finds that it is up to him to find the rightful ruler.