The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Book - 1992
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Jun 27, 2020

I reread this book and still loved it many years later. Great storytelling! Very creative mind.

Feb 03, 2020

This book is outstanding.... Though a "plot twist" is not that surprising, we have a bit of annoying head-hopping (going from one character's mind to another with no notification from the author), and a few pages illustrate nothing, the book is still written with eloquence. The poetic voice of the writer and lovable characters make up for it. From the characters' relationships to the hunt for the "Scarlet Pimpernel," the plot is a delicate web; if you understand and appreciate the art of literature, you will see it, too. I'm not giving away the ending; however, it is ultimately satisfying!

Jul 12, 2019

" ' Baroness Orczy (1865-1947)---whose full name was Emmuska Magdalena Rosalia Marie Joepha Barbara, Baroness Orczy---was born in Hungary, and was educated in Brussels, Paris, and London. Her father was a well-known composer and conductor, and introduced young Emma to famous composers such as Wagner and Liszt. She began writing for magazines in the 1890s. She wrote several children's books before turning to historical fiction in 1899 with THE EMPEROR'S CANDLESTICKS. Though she did not know English before moving to London, she wrote all her books in that language. Her great fame rests on THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL./ It was rejected by every publisher who saw it. The baroness and her husband then turned it into a play, and its success on stage captured the public's attention. It finally appeared in book form, in 1905. / Among her many titles, it is the only one that has stood the test of time.

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.

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.

May 09, 2017

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

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."

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.

Sep 08, 2013

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

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.

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!

Dec 24, 2012

I was expecting a rollicking adventure, and received that for the first 2/3 or so. Then the story devolved somewhat into overwrought (and repetitive!) female waiting and suffering. I enjoyed the story, and that it was mainly told from Marguerite's point of view, but eventually this modern feminist reader rammed up against Orczy's unempowered, helpless "little woman" who must be rescued. I was just expecting Marguerite ("the cleverest woman in Europe") to be more active in saving the day.

Aug 23, 2012

A dated suspense drama romance, but a real classic. I tend to not like overly romantic stories where the beauty puts her hand up to her forehead and swoons while the rat-faced evil-doer cackles, but this tale worked for me. The lead female is a member of the 'weaker sex' in the story, but she is an active character and a big hero. I especially loved the descriptions of the man hero's brave actions paired with the descriptions of him: lots of pompous lace and frills, lazy drawling speech, hyena laugh, and a lazy eye. Nice cover!

Aug 09, 2012

Quite the piece of schlock. Completely lacking in believability.

Somewhat interesting insight into the mind of the "baroness" who wrote it.

Sep 19, 2011

I wasn't sure I would like this book since I thought the name was weird and the beginning was a little gruesome. But I was so wrong! Absolutely loved it! Its exciting, romantic, intriguing and just plain amazing! Once I started the third chapter I couldn't put it down! Please read it!

Apr 25, 2011

Two words: SOO GOOODD. Romance, suspense, daring escapes, heroism- JUST. SO GOOD. The only thing is that the beginning was a bit slow and I couldn't understand most of the language or allusions mentioned (I've always wondered why the first letter after an exclamation mark or period isn't capatilized in certain dialogues) :P My favourite part is when Sir Percy and Lady Blakeney have a heart-wrenching conversation outside their beautiful house in Richmond; it tore my heart apart in the last few paragraphs when Sir Percy couldn't keep his mask of obstinacy and pride. A MUST READ. (:

Mar 21, 2011

I loved this book! I think I put off reading it because it is a "classic" and I thought I would have to force myself to trudge through it, but it is a classic for great reasons: it is a fun action-adventure that is also informative about the French Revolution. Spies, disguises, love interests, daring escapes..I could have loved reading this 20 years ago, and I will probably re-read it in the future.

Nov 09, 2010

Fab read!! Must for every library! A little bit of everything: romance, suspence and a big dose of adventure. A favorite read!!

Oct 19, 2010

I knew about the character called the Scarlet Pimpernel–usually referred to as one of the first superheroes–for a long, long time before I finally got around the reading the novel. From the way the character and the story is generally portrayed in pop culture, I was expecting a thrill-a-minute tale full of swashbuckling swordfights. I was completely wrong, but not at all disappointed. In fact, after reading it, The Scarlet Pimpernel immediately became one of my favorite novels. The fact that the character served as an inspiration for Batman and other superheroes also endears it to me.

Set during the bloody French Revolution, the novel tells the story of Marguerite Blakeney, a lovely and spirited former French actress; the English nobleman Sir Percy Blakeney, her foppish and apparently airheaded husband; Chauvelin, the sly, sinister agent of the French Revolution; and the Scarlet Pimpernel, a daring and mysterious master of disguise who rescues French aristocrats from the guillotine.

There are no fight scenes or swordfights in The Scarlet Pimpernel, but the book zips along at a fast pace, and there are plenty of thrilling plot twists and turns. The book is full of so much fun and energy, even the slowest scenes keep you turning the page. If you like a solid adventure romance, I don’t think you can go wrong with The Scarlet Pimpernel.

BradLibraryDivMgr May 13, 2010

It really is fun to go back to the beginning of swashbuckling heroes who conceal their true identities, and it's an involving story in and of itself.

Apr 14, 2010

This book opens with a bang, settles a bit, and then picks right back up, and gathers speed toward the climax. Nothing particularly intellectual here, but a good story, with decent characters, and great pacing. All in all, a good time.

Jun 23, 2009

The Scarlet Pimpernel is, like the Three Musketeers and Zorro, a defender of truth and justice during a time of oppression?he?s just not quite as well known. But his story was a best-seller in its day and still makes for a swashbuckling good read. It is 1792, the beginning of the French Revolution and the reign of the bloody Guillotine. A secret society of Englishman has formed to save their French counterparts from the blade; their leader is a dashing masquerader known only as the Scarlet Pimpernel from the small red flower he leaves as his calling-card. But the Scarlet Pimpernel is in danger of betrayal from a beautiful woman. Marguerite St. Just is the wife of idiotic Englishman Percy Blakeney, and her heart has been captured by the daring exploits of the Pimpernel. Marguerite has also unintentionally sent one of her countryman to his death on the guillotine, and her brother is known to be in league with the Pimpernel. When the dastardly Citizen Chauvelin offers Marguerite her brother?s life in exchange for information about the secret society, the Scarlet Pimpernel will need all his wily ways to escape the evil clutches of the French and still save the day. Readers of this stirring tale will not be surprised to learn that the Scarlet Pimpernel, with his secret identity and daring deeds, was the blueprint for every masked avenger who came racing to the rescue later.

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