Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who knew Meg Cabot reads Betsy-Tacy?

My friends at B&N.com just sent me their weekly email about new releases, including a link from Meg Cabot, which says she is reading Maud Hart Lovelace (you have to scroll down)! I am not a fan of the Princess Diaries; that genre has been done better by Gwendoline Courtney in A Coronet for Cathie, A Royal Pain by Ellen Conford and others. However, I have enjoyed her 1-800 and Mediator series and other YA titles, as well as her adult novels. And clearly if she likes Betsy-Tacy, her heart is in the right place.

As you may know, the most famous Ruritanian story is The Prisoner of Zenda, in which dashing Englishman Rudolf Rassendyll, vacationing in an imaginary Balkan-like imaginary country, unexpectedly meets the local king, Rudolf the Fifth. They are similar enough to be twins (but they're cousins!), due to a long distant ancestor, but the Englishman is brave and honorable while the king is well intentioned but weak. When Rudolf learns that the king's life and throne are in danger, he has no choice but to impersonate him. Rudolf steps in gallantly to save his double's throne but does not bargain for falling in love with the king's betrothed, the beautiful Flavia. Ultimately, he must give her up - the honorable thing to do - and return to England with only his integrity for company, leaving the flawed Rudolf as king. This story has been filmed several times (and spoofed also; one of my favorites is a Get Smart episode called The King Lives).

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