The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel

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Branch Call Number: CLASS PB Orc


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Swashbuckling romance at its finest

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FPL_ElizabethC Feb 10, 2021

Secret identities, cunning disguises, hair-breadth escapes, and a love story… it’s no wonder that this classic stands the test of time. There’s no one leaders of the French Revolution want to introduce to Madame Guillotine more than the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel, an unknown Englishman who helps French aristocrats escape the Reign of Terror. But first they have to identify him: “They seek him here, they seek him there…” (You can find him at the library!)

FPL_RachelR Nov 01, 2020

Before Batman, before Zorro, there was The Scarlet Pimpernel! Set during the French Revolution, this fabulous English vigilante sneaks into France to save French aristocrats from Madame La Guillotine. Enjoy the tale that inspired the Mexican Zorro (Spanish for “The Fox”) and D.C.’s Batman, the Caped Crusader.

First sentence: 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.

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.

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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

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

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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Oct 23, 2018

Gwen904 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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