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Antoinette de Mauban- Character of The Novel (The Prisoner of Zenda)




Antoinette-de- Mauban is the character of the novel entitled Prisoner of Zenda written by Anthony Hope. Mme-de- Mauban was a widow, rich, beautiful and clever lady. She

deeply loved Black Michael, the Duke of Stralsau.


She was sincerely devoted to the Duke and by this genuine attachment. She followed him at his request from Paris to Ruritania but she was not aware that the Duke whom she thought to be a man of strong passions was actually a cruel, cunning and selfish

man who was content to take all but give nothing.


She was a quite person who had decided to spend a quite and peaceful time in Ruritania with the Duke. With this intention she accepted the Duke’s request. Only to discover at her arrival that things were contradictory to what she had thought. It did not take her long to find out that the Duke wanted to kill the King and seize the throne for himself but Mme-de- Mauban did not desire his triumph for she detested his crime and mainly because she knew that if Michael was made the king he would marry Princess Flavia.


She was a possessive woman and found her rival and would not bear to see the Duke abandoning her by marrying the Pricess so she betrayed Black Michael to Rassendyll by warning him of his plan to kill him in the Summer House. For she knew that in case of Rassendyll’s Death the Duke would become the king and would eventually marry Flavia.


She wrote a letter to Flavia and warned her not to accept the Duke’s invitation in case, she would come in the power of the Duke. She was a pretty lady and at the Zenda, Rupert, one of the king’s six men was caught by her beauty. But Mauban hated him for she was sincerely devoted to the Duke. Being aware of Rupert’s intentions she had warned Michael of him. Mauban was a compassionate woman and when she learnt of the full measure of his cruelty, she was touched with compassion for the King and

from that day she became a well-wisher of Rassendyll and his party.

Gradually she found herself entangled into the Duke’s plan, but she was not a weak woman, tired of quarrels and ills between the Duke and Michael and disappointed by Black Michael’s cruel plans and selfish motives. She beggged Rassendyll to rescue her from the Duke and Rupert but she still loved Black Michael and hoped to gain his life if

not his pardon from the king.


She was a woman ruled by her emotions and when Michael was killed by Rupert, she

heaving taunts came froth to avenge him.


This conduct proved that no knowledge of the man’s real character was enough to root her regard, for him out of her heart. After these tragic events she withdrew herself entirely from society. She recognized the king’s generosity and kindness and so she did not betray the king’s trust by letting out the secret.

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