Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins was born in 1863 and, after taking a degree at Oxford University, was called to the bar in 1887. He initially combined a successful career as a barrister with writing but the immediate success of his tenth book, The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), allowed him to become a full-time writer. The novel spawned a new genre – Ruritanian romance – and has been adapted numerous times for film, television and stage. In all, Hope wrote thirty-two works of fiction and an autobiography. At the close of the First World War he was knighted for his contribution to propaganda work. Hope died in 1933.