As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

October 26, 2010

THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, 1905

The Scarlet Pimpernel (Forgotten Books)
The story takes place during the Reign of Terror.  Sir Percy Blakeney is an English gentleman and baronet that is horrified by what is happening in France.  He uses his resources and money along with many of his friends and connections in France to rescue as many Aristocrats in France and give them safe passage to England. Sir Percy is married to a beautiful Frenchwoman named Marguerite St. Just.  Early in their marriage Percy discovers that Marguerite sent the Marquis de St. Cyr and his entire family to the gillotine.  From that point on he does not trust her and will not reveal anything to her. Marguerite wanted revenge on the Marquis but she never intended to have him killed.  Later on her brother is taken by the French for being in the League of the Pimpernel.  Marguerite is blackmailed by citizen Chauvelin who will stop at nothing to capture the Pimpernel. (Amazon Product Description)

Review by Mattie Noall- aspiring writer, avid reader, and busy mother of 6.

This book is one of my most loved books and is an instant classic. Anyone who falls in love with the Old English and their way of life will love this book.

My first experience with this book was actually through one of the movie versions. The 1982 TV version is excellent. It stars Anthony Andrews as Sir Percy Blakeney and Jane Seymour as Marguerite St. Just. I liked the movie so much that I went looking to see if there was a book. Sure enough there was.

Some of characters in the book never know what the other characters are doing. To them, everything is as the Pimpernel is, elusive. One of the greatest things about being the reader is that we see what everyone is doing. We see the Pimpernel and his band on their adventures, Chauvelin and his schemes to find the Pimpernel, Marguerite and her distaste for her husband, Percy and his great love for his wife that he will not show. The only thing that is truly elusive to the characters and the reader is the ending. I absolutely love the end. I never get tired of reading this book and neither will you.

If you have never read The Scarlet Pimpernel, you are missing out. I highly recommend this book for everyone. One of the best phrases in the book come from Percy. He takes himself to be rather a poet and makes up a small verse about the Pimpernel. It goes like this:

We seek him here, we seek him there.
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in Heaven? Is he in Hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel.

Everyone takes Percy to be a great fop so they just laugh at him whenever he says his verse, but really he is as clever as a fox. By acting like an imbecile no one would think of him as the brave and stalwart Pimpernel.

Market: Adult Fiction                                                                        
Language: Minimal (Old English style)                                             
Sensuality: None
Violence: Talk mostly about the number of dead by guillotine
Mature Themes: Anger, Beheading, Love, Danger, Suspense

Book formats:
The Scarlet Pimpernel (Forgotten Books) (paperback)

To learn more about the author, who really was an actual Baroness, visit: Baroness Orczy

1 comment:

Kim said...

I have had this book recommended to me many times, but haven't read it yet. I did just find a used copy at my indie bookstore for $.50. Yay! I'm excited to read it.