The King is bored, weighed down by his vast military cloak and all the other impediments to commonplace adventure. So he organises a coup against himself, and abandons his ancient throne. But what should one whose only experience is that of an absolute ruler do with himself? Why, become a con-man of course! So he decides to impersonate himself, pass himself off as the ex-king Oliver VII. All of this leads to one of the oldest sources of comedy, the total inversion of identity, the piling up of paradoxes according to the fashion of the times. A playful reworking of one of the most interesting questions of existentialism: what is the Self? Szerb offered this book as a translation from a non-existent English writer, A H Redcliff...Typical Szerb humor, or a reflection of the fact that as a 'rootless cosmopolitan' his own work was banned? Under the increasing persecution of the Nazi regime, Szerb was stopped from teaching at Szeged University in 1943.