The Scarlet Pimpernel - Literature Classics, Complete EditionADDITIONAL CONTENT : + Active Table of Contents + The Author Biography + Annotations - Plot Summary - Publications - AdaptationsOVERVIEW:The Scarlet Pimpernel is a play and adventure novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, set during the Reign... show more
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Literature Classics, Complete EditionADDITIONAL CONTENT : + Active Table of Contents + The Author Biography + Annotations - Plot Summary - Publications - AdaptationsOVERVIEW:The Scarlet Pimpernel is a play and adventure novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution. The story is a precursor to the "disguised superhero" tales such as Zorro and Batman.SUMMARY:The Scarlet Pimpernel is set in 1792, during the early stages of the French Revolution. Marguerite St. Just, a beautiful Frenchwoman, is the wife of wealthy English fop Sir Percy Blakeney, a baronet. Before their marriage, Marguerite took revenge upon the Marquis de St. Cyr, who had ordered her brother to be beaten for his romantic interest in the Marquis' daughter, with the unintended consequence of the Marquis and his sons being sent to the guillotine. When Percy found out, he became estranged from his wife. Marguerite, for her part, became disillusioned with Percy's shallow, dandyish lifestyle.REVIEWS:5 Stars Review : Shannon - GoodreadsIf, like me, you watched the movie more times than you'd care to admit when you were growing up; or if, like me, you've read all of Georgette Heyer's Regency romances and then some, you'll love this book. It doesn't pretend to be anything extraordinary, it doesn't even offer a social commentary on the period in which it's set - written by an aristocrat who is clearly on the side of the aristocrats, it's easy to see where her sympathies lie. But it is a rollicking good ride, a fun adventure story, a very sweet and at times intense love story, and a daring, cunning dash into danger. For sheer entertainment's sake, I loved it. Set in 1792 during the French Revolution when, if your history is a bit hazy, the French people rose up in revolt and began executing their wealthy aristocracy on "Madame Guillotine" - including the King and Marie Antoinette (their young son was famously unaccounted for, if I remember correctly) - stories of "innocent" aristocrats (especially women and children, who were beheaded alongside the men) being rescued and taken to England are perfect for a romantic adventure story. When I was a little girl, my mother's best friend returned from a trip to Russia, where her family was from, with a birthday gift for me - a book printed in Yugoslavia called Girls' Adventure Stories of Long Ago. The very first story, and my favourite, was about a young girl fleeing France who is rescued by a Englishman with a secret identity, going by the name of Red Hawk. Adventure and romance ensued. So between that story and watching my sister's copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel, I was an early fan. Lady Marguerite Blakeney is a beautiful, clever young French woman, once an actress, now wife to Sir Percy Blakeney, one of the richest and most well-dressed men in England - and also, so everyone thinks, one of the most inane and stupid. When her brother Armand, who is working on the side of the Revolution in France, is found out to be in league with the Scarlet Pimpernel, the man in charge of hunting down the Pimpernel, Chauvelin, uses the damning knowledge to blackmail Marguerite into helping him discover the Scarlet Pimpernel's true identity. When she realises who the Scarlet Pimpernel really is, though, it's too late to save him or her brother - she must to France to warn them, but Chauvelin's trap is closing in fast.