a bit about this story :
The story, as fresh and exciting today as it must have been when it was first published back in 1894, follows Rudolf Rassendyll, an Englishman who travels to the kingdom of Ruritania. There, he finds that he bears a striking resemblance to the king of that land. Though the king is a nice enough fellow, his half-brother “Black Michael” the Duke of Strelsau covets both his power and his beautiful bride-to-be, Princess Flavia. Further, the king has not yet been crowned. Since Black Michael is in many circles more popular than the new king, he concocts a diabolical scheme: he sends the hard-drinking king a bottle of drugged wine. If the populace believed that the king was too drunk to attend his own coronation, they would reject him and turn to Michael. The scheming duke would then be able to claim both the throne and Princess Flavia.
Fortunately, our hero Rudolph is there to save the kingdom: since he resembles the king, he can stand in for him during the coronation, and continue the masquerade until the true king can be re-installed. (Of course!) In the sort of scheme that is normally reserved for gamers after nine or ten hours of straight play, the true king is left to drool on himself in a cellar while Rudolph is rushed off to the coronation. Once installed, he just has to survive his stay without inviting disaster, which means fending off Black Michael and his lackeys, keeping Ruritania (from the highest minister to the lowest peasant) clueless, and courting Princess Flavia without things becoming, well, treasonous. more...