Hope was a barrister who gave up the law after the success of his novel "The Prisoner of Zenda". This book begins: In accordance with many most excellent precedents, I might begin by claiming the sympathy due to an orphan alone in the world. I might even summon my unguided childhood and the absence of parental training to excuse my faults and extenuate my indiscretions. But the sympathy which I should thus gain would be achieved, I fear, by something very like false pretenses. For my solitary state sat very lightly upon me - the sad events which caused it being softened by the influence of time and habit - and had the recommendation of leaving me, not only free to manage my own life as I please, but also possessed of a competence which added power to my freedom.