The Prisoner of Zenda. Being the History of Three Months in the Life of an English Gentleman - Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins 1894 - J.W. Arrowsmith, Bristol - First Edition, First State The rare first edition, first state of the classic swashbuckling romance, appropriately housed in folding cloth chemise and burgundy morocco slipcase, with spine lettered in gilt.

This adventure story was enjoyed by Ian Fleming as a child, and Hope's chivalrous hero is a 'literary ancestor' of the debonair British agent 007 [
The Rough Guide to James Bond].

The basis for David O. Selznick's Oscar-nominated movie (1937), starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and David Niven. Hawkins most well-known work.

For my part, if a man must needs be a knave, I would have him a debonair knave... It makes your sin no worse, as I conceive, to do it à la mode and stylishly.’
  The Prisoner of Zenda’ is author Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins most famous novel, which transports gentleman hero, Rudolf Rassendyll, from a comfortable London life to fast-paced adventures in Ruritania, a mythical land steeped in political intrigue. Rassendyll must impersonate the rightful king in order to rescue him from the castle Zenda, all the while facing tests of honour with the beautiful Princess Flavia, and enduring tests of strength in his encounters with the villainous Black Michael and his handsome, debonair bodyguard, Rupert of Hentzau.

First edition, first state - No titles listed to verso of title page (same as 2nd state, six titles listed in third state); 17 titles without ’
Prisoner of Zenda’ listed on the first page of the publisher’s ads to the rear (the 2nd and 3rd state listed 18 titles including ‘Prisoner of Zenda’, later issues showed more than 18 titles); spine showing ‘f’ crossed (the ‘f in the 2nd and 3rd state is uncrossed); imprint at the foot of page 310 reads ‘Printing Office of the Publisher’ (same as 2nd state, 3rd state reads ‘J. W. Arrowsmith, Printer, Bristol’).

The Rough Guide to James Bond (2002), p.47. Percy Muir, 126.

Octavo (binding size 19x13.3cm), pp. iv 5-310 [2 (publisher’s catalogue)]. In publisher’s burgundy cloth, spine with gilt lettering rule and publisher’s logo, upper board lettered in gilt, all edges trimmed.
  Condition: Very good, internally clean apart fro one or two finger prints and a stain to lower edges of pages 164 and 165 affecting the last three lines of text, in very good to near fine cloth, gilt strong, some wear to points of corners, slipcase with a little wear to leather spine and edges.   Ref: 111604   Price: HK$ 18,000