This Housemartin Classics edition includes the full original text as well as an easy to use interactive table of contents.
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 title character, Sir Percy Blakeney, represents the original "hero with a secret identity" that inspired subsequent literary creations such as Don Diego de la Vega (El Zorro) and Bruce Wayne (Batman).
Sir Percy is a wealthy English baronet who rescues individuals sentenced to death by the guillotine. He soon reveals himself to be a master of disguise, an imaginative planner, a formidable swordsman and a quick-thinking escape artist. With each rescue he taunts his enemies by leaving behind a card showing a small flower—a scarlet pimpernel. The identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel thus becomes a topic of widespread popular interest and the hero himself becomes the subject of an international manhunt by the French revolutionary authorities. To hide his true identity, Sir Percy presents himself in everyday life as a dim-witted, foppish playboy. His secret is kept by a band of friends known as the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel. The league operates as an undercover team in enacting Sir Percy's rescue plans.
Events in the original novel are related from the point of view of his wife, Marguerite St. Just.
Baroness Orczy's general sympathy with aristocrats is evident in her stories, where nobility of birth and nobility of character easily correspond. Even so, her tales present commoners as capable of selfless and heroic actions. Marguerite St. Just and her brother Armand, both commoners who initially help bring about the French Revolution, work closely with Sir Percy as members of the League.
About Emmuska Orczy, Baroness OrczySee more books from this Author
This is a fast-paced, desperate adventure in the tradition of the old swashbuckling romance, and the precursor of such super-hero stories as Superman and Batman, in which the hero has a double identity...Lovers of adventure, romance, and French history will find in this novel a delightful and satisfying read.Read Full Review of The Scarlet Pimpernel
Have I mentioned my undying adoration for the Percy/Marguerite hook-up? I mean, yes, she was truly horrible and wretched, but at least she actually did something. So often, especially in older books, the ladies are there as decoration, which does reflect the times.Read Full Review of The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a novel that could have used a better beta and some tighter editing, but it still deserves its reputation as a classic adventure novel...I compare The Scarlet Pimpernel to a YA novel because...it has the right tone and style and amount of depth for that market and I think most young readers would really enjoy it.Read Full Review of The Scarlet Pimpernel
I enjoyed the book, it had a very lovely flow to the writing, that made it easy to get lost in the book, not to mention the character, the Scarlet Pimpernel, was a fun character to read about and root for, making for a very enjoyable read.Read Full Review of The Scarlet Pimpernel
Dashing hero, dangerous setting, beautiful woman, a secret society, crafty viliian. Sigh...all the things needed for an action-adventure...While not literature, this book is a classic and very worth reading.Read Full Review of The Scarlet Pimpernel
...I recommend reading it sooner rather than later. Compared to many classics it’s a quick read and lots of fun too: a combination of swashbuckling adventure story, historical fiction and romance. It’s one of those novels where you sit down planning to just read one or two chapters and before you know it you’re halfway through the book!Read Full Review of The Scarlet Pimpernel
I love it because it's a fast-paced, intriguing yet easy-to-read story. I love the drama and the excitement. I love the romance that's there, but not there. I love the character of Percy, how he is first one way and then another. I love the time period and the setting.Read Full Review of The Scarlet Pimpernel
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