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Mam'zelle Guillotine by Baroness Emmuska…
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yes, i know that orczy is anti-revolution, but it irks me that gabrielle mysteriously (and perhaps tragically) disappears while her aristocratic ex-lover, who had her imprisoned in the bastille for 16 years, gets to live happily ever after with his family in england. and seriously, who wouldn't be out for blood if an ex-lover was responsible for an indefinite imprisonment simply to get them out of the way?

also, reading this so soon after [b:City of Darkness, City of Light|862108|City of Darkness, City of Light|Marge Piercy|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320479678s/862108.jpg|1230592], i'm struck by how differently the storming of the bastille is described. also, i wonder if some of piercy's descriptions of Claire and the sans-cullotte women in their march on Versailles were influenced by Orczy's description of Gabrielle Damiens at that same demonstration. ( )
  VikkiLaw | Apr 4, 2013 |
Certainly one of the better of Orczy's sequels. The focus stays mostly on Mam'zelle Guillotine and the other French officials trying to capture the Pimpernel, which helps to maintain the suspense. Orczy also avoids spending too much time trying to make us love the characters the Pimpernel is trying to rescue in this one, which is good because going overboard often results in making them irritating. ( )
  Unreachableshelf | Jul 14, 2010 |
A favourite of mine - not only does Marguerite take part in this adventure (and I think she shows great spirit and endurance in France, to make up for her whining at Richmond in an earlier chapter), but there is an uncharacteristic insight into Sir Percy's character, too. He gives a rousing speech to the Prince of Wales, revealing something of the psychological drive behind his dual personality, and must beat his personal best for subterfuge!

I'm not sure about his dealings with Gabrielle, a strong, determined woman, if slightly unbalanced - he has to get her on side, and she obviously demonstrates her attraction to him, but Public Displays of Affection with the enemy might be considered taking a role too far! I don't doubt his love for Marguerite, and most actors do not 'love' whomever they must kiss for a part in a film, but I was a little startled by Orczy's portrayal of Sir Percy in this - he is more ashamed of being beaten than for straying when his wife is in the vicinity!

Chauvelin cameos to stir up Mam'zelle Guillotine, and then is out of sight, if not mind (he inspires Sir Percy, at least) for the rest of the book; Sir Tony, who supposedly married his Yvonne in 1793, is single again in February 1794; and Sir Percy must barely have had time to recover from his imprisonment in Paris before this escapade in the Ardennes - but this is Orczy!

An excellent, exciting adventure, with all the main characters and some worthy additions (Gabrielle Damiens, whom I finally felt sorry for, and Eve de St Lucque, another intrepid mother figure fighting for her family). ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Aug 15, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 160096155X, Paperback)

The author writes, "Three aristos who were being sent to Paris for trial were absolutely spirited away from under the very nose of the highly efficient police administration of the province. Spirited away! There was no other word for it! And the whole thing was obviously the work of those abominable English, who were emissaries of the devil, for no flesh and blood human creature could have engineered so damnable a trick and then disappeared as if the earth had swallowed them up."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:49 -0400)

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