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The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905)

by Baroness Orczy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,983183929 (4)459
The first and most successful in the Baroness's series of books that feature Percy Blakeney, who leads a double life as an English fop and a swashbuckling rescuer of aristocrats, "The Scarlet Pimpernel" was the blueprint for what became known as the masked-avenger genre. As Anne Perry writes in her Introduction, the novel "has almost reached its first centenary, and it is as vivid and appealing as ever because the plotting is perfect. It is a classic example of how to construct, pace, and conclude a plot. . . . To rise on the crest of laughter without capsizing, to survive being written, rewritten, and reinterpreted by each generation, is the mark of a plot that is timeless and universal, even though it happens to be set in England and France of 1792."… (more)
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    Escape from France by Ronald Welch (AbigailAdams26)
    AbigailAdams26: This work of historical fiction for children is another tale of French aristocrats being rescued during the Terror, and even features Baron de Batz, who appears in some of the later Scarlet Pimpernel books.
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    EECarter: Set during the French Revolution. A romance. A guest appearance by Sir Percy Blakeney.
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» See also 459 mentions

English (172)  Swedish (2)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (180)
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
I BET this is a good book!!!! Just watched the movie and I'm in love!
  BooksbyStarlight | Oct 25, 2022 |
I don’t know how I missed reading The Scarlet Pimpernel before now, but I am certainly glad that I finally picked it up. This was a fun swashbuckler of a story with Sir Percy Blakeney as the romantic hero who is saving French aristocrats from the guillotine. He keeps his identity a secret from everyone, including his beautiful French wife, Marguerite by playing at being a dimwitted fashionable fop who cares more about the cut of his jacket than in embarking on rescue missions.

Of course all great heroes need evil, dastardly villains to out-smart and in the French spy, Chauvelin, the Scarlet Pimpernel has an excellent foil. The book rewards the reader with suspense, romantic misunderstandings, and epic adventure.

Yes, the language is a little old-fashioned, there are a couple of cringe worthy slurs as well as a cartoon-like portrayal of a Jewish gentleman, and a somewhat dated attitude towards women but mostly I found the 1905 book, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy a wonderful piece of historical fiction. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Sep 17, 2022 |
They seek him here,
They seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.


What fun! An old-fashioned rollicking romance, with dashing young cavaliers and twisted misunderstandings between lovers, set against the horrors of the French Reign of Terror. The Scarlet Pimpernel himself is slightly more daring and strong than his followers and clever enough to be an Oscar Wilde character.

I admit to not being surprised by a single turn of the storyline. I suspect that I saw this in movie form back in my childhood. But that hardly mattered. I loved the horrible predicaments Marguerite found herself in, the dastardly nature of Chevelin, and the unassailable British character of Sir Percy. Truth is, when we are young girls we dream of a man who is strong, handsome, owns a yacht, and will have eyes for no one but ourselves. Reading this novel made me feel young again. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Wonderful book!

The Scarlet Pimpernel (named after a small red flower that is his signature) is engaged in saving French loyalists from the guillotine during the French Revolution. Using disguises and cunning, the Scarlet Pimpernel performs these daring rescues right under the noses of the angry mob.

When he's not rescuing French loyalists, the Scarlet Pimpernel is mild-mannered, foppish, wealthy Sir Percy Blakeney. He disguises his activities by appearing to be utterly useless. So good is his disguise that even his own wife doesn't know his alter-identity.

This book is considered the proto-type for many heroes to follow: Zorro, Batman and others. It's been made into a few movies, and now I need to watch some of them! ( )
  sriddell | Aug 6, 2022 |
That one classic which retains a timeless edge though it has antiquated narration. Four stars. ( )
  Amarj33t_5ingh | Jul 8, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orczy, Baronessprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daly, NicholasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gheijn, Ed. van den, Jr.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindström, SigfridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mantel, HilaryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mauro, WalterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCaddon, WandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morin, Maria EugeniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Musterd-de Haas, ElsEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Penzler, OttoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perry, AnneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhind-Tutt, JulianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sarah, MaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savage, KarenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weller, LucyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wildschut, MarjoleinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmermann, WalterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
First words
A surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate.
Quotations
We seek him here,
we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven? -
Is he in hell?
That damned, elusive Pimpernel!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English

None

The first and most successful in the Baroness's series of books that feature Percy Blakeney, who leads a double life as an English fop and a swashbuckling rescuer of aristocrats, "The Scarlet Pimpernel" was the blueprint for what became known as the masked-avenger genre. As Anne Perry writes in her Introduction, the novel "has almost reached its first centenary, and it is as vivid and appealing as ever because the plotting is perfect. It is a classic example of how to construct, pace, and conclude a plot. . . . To rise on the crest of laughter without capsizing, to survive being written, rewritten, and reinterpreted by each generation, is the mark of a plot that is timeless and universal, even though it happens to be set in England and France of 1792."

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
An English noble
saves French aristocracy
from the guillotine.
(marcusbrutus)
In France terror reigns,
Yet an Englishman slips through,
And bests them again.
(hillaryrose7)

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