The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Book - 2005
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In the year 1792, Sir Percy and Lady Marguerite Blakeney are the darlings of British society--he is known as one of the wealthiest men in England and kimwit; she is French, a stunning former actress, and "the cleverest woman in Europe." Together they find themselves at the center of a deadly political intrigue. The Reign of Terror grips France, and every day aristocrats in Paris fall victim to Madame la Guillotine. Only one man can rescue them--the Scarlet Pimpernel--a master of disguises who leaves a calling card bearing only a signature red flower. As the fascinating connection between the Blakeneys and this mysterious hero is revealed, they are forced to choose between love and loyalty in order to avoid the French agent Chauvelin, who relentessly hunts the Scarlet Pimpernel.
Publisher: New York : Barnes and Noble Classics, 2005
ISBN: 9781593082345
1593082347
Characteristics: xxx, 271 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm

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DANIEL F HAMMANG
Apr 13, 2019

Great history, from both the classic sense of history and also in the sense of history of plotting in a mystery. The historical landscape is carefully described. It is also counterintuitive in terms of underdog/favorite dynamics. And the plotting itself is very clever, particularly so when you place it early on the development of mystery plotting. The chapters are short so it is also easy to pick up and set down.

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Gwen904
Oct 23, 2018

I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this book. It was old, yes, but delightfully witty and clever. It was jammed with romance, intrigue, and action, with throughly likeable characters.

j
jcosner13
May 09, 2017

An all-time favorite! Romance, adventure, danger, comedy -- it has it all!

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lukasevansherman
Aug 11, 2016

"We seek him here, we seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven or is he in hell? That damned elusive Pimpernel."
I know this book primarily from an early 80s English adaptation starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and, in one of his earliest roles, Ian McKellen. I always thought the book was French but Barones Orczy was actually a Hungarian-born English author. This began life as a very successful play and then turned into a series of novels. It's a potboiler and so entertaining, but a little silly and its pro-royals sentiments are off-putting to this American reader. Filmed multiple times. Not sure if he or Zorro came first, but they were among the first to have alter egos. Be sure not to accidentally pick up the blaxploitation take-off "The Scarlet Pimp."

2
24x7Mom
Jun 13, 2015

Cute book. Captivates your attention and a spectacular ending.

ChrisBurr Jun 22, 2014

Fun and adventurous story. The style and prose can be a little difficult, although this could simply be due to the fact the book was written about one hundred years ago. Starts off slow, but builds nicely.

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kaiear
Sep 08, 2013

Romantic, historical, funny, and such a great plot. I've read it several times and will definitely read it again!

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Hannahvv
Jul 09, 2013

i love this bdododkdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

BeccaBB Mar 06, 2013

I am a fan of the masked hero type. Zorro and Batman and the like. So you might want to take what I say with a grain of salt because I think I was predisposed to like this novel. And I did like it. There are less of the heroic adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel here than you may expect. You hear about his breathless, selfless rescues more than you actually get to see them. A lot of the book is told from the point of view of Lady Blakeney so the reader stays in England with her instead of getting to go to France with the Scarlet Pimpernel. But you still get to hear how he fools the French and does all sorts of heroic things. I think the events hold more surprises for the characters than they do for the reader but I don't think that hurts the story. Sometimes the 'I just want to be able to die beside my beloved' emotion of Lady Blakeney gets to be a bit much. And I have to admit that I was getting tired of being told that she was ever so clever, even though at times she didn't act like it. Over all I really liked it. It is fun and exciting with some suspense and romance.

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julia_sedai
Jan 02, 2013

I absolutely love this book! I read it on vacation and couldn't put it down. It is full of mystery and romance. I recommend if you like this story to watch the 1982 movie version (the library doesn't have it). My husband also likes this book!

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Gwen904
Oct 23, 2018

"Zooks!" ejaculated Sir Andrew in boundless astonishment as he recognized his leader, "of all the…"
The young man had seen Marguerite, and happily checked the forcible language that rose to his lips, at the sight of the exquisite Sir Percy in his weird and dirty garb.
- Page 209

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jane1817
May 22, 2014

"They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That damned elusive Pimpernel." - Baroness Orczy

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Geping
Apr 25, 2011

Before entering, she paused once again to look at him, hoping against hope to see his arms stretched out to her, and to hear his voice calling her back. But he had not moved; his massive figure looked the very personification of unbending pride [...] Hot tears again surged to her eyes[.] She turned quickly within, and ran as fast as she could up to her rooms. Had she but turned back then, and looked out once more [...] she would have seen [...] a strong man, overwhelmed with his own passion and his own despair. He was but a man madly, blindly, passionately in love, and as soon as her light footsteps had died away within the house, he knelt down upon the terrace steps, and in the very madness of his love he kissed one by one the places where her small foot had trodden, and the stone balustrade there, where her tiny hand had rested last.

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Gwen904
Oct 23, 2018

Gwen904 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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