Taking a classic story of the past and writing a a popular literary device...But rarely has it been employed with such panache, wit and downright jollity as in John Spurling’s After Zenda
(Roy Stockdil, Today).

After Zenda (Andre Deutsch, 1995) is a sequel, a century later, to Anthony Hope’s famous thrillers, The Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau. John began by imagining what might have happened to Hope’s mythical Central European state of Ruritania during the 20th century. Of course it would have been overrun by the Nazis and then incorporated into the Soviet Union, before being released back into independence in 1990.