by Baroness Orczy

Published by New American Library

A review by John Irvin


“Know her? Know Lady Blakeney—the most fashionable woman in London—the wife of the richest man in England? Of course, we all know Lady Blakeney.” –Lord Antony

            From the back cover blurb:

           The year is 1792. The French Revolution, driven to excess by its own triumph, has turned into a reign of terror. Daily, tumbrels roll over the cobbled streets of Paris bearing new victims to the insatiable Madame la Guillotine…Thus the stage is set for one of the most enthralling novels of historical adventure ever written.

            The mysterious figure known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, sworn to rescue helpless men, women, and children from their doom; his implacable foe, the French agent Chauvelin, relentlessly hunting him down; and lovely Marguerite Blakeney, a beautiful French exile married to an English lord and caught in a terrible conflict of loyalties—all play their parts in a suspenseful tale that ranges from the squalid slums of Paris to the aristocratic salons of London, from intrigue on a great English country estate to the final denouement on the cliffs of the French coast.

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, A Review

            I’d seen the movie since childhood and loved it, but it wasn’t until about a year or two ago that I finally picked up the novel. It was nothing I expected.

            The first half of the story is similar to the film starring Jane Seymour, but the second half surprised me and took me on several plot twists I did not expect at all.

            At first, I didn’t think I liked the surprise, but when I continued reading, I fell in love with the characters and the plot and was happy for a difference setting that I wasn’t sure which way it would go since it wasn’t related to the movie!

            If you enjoy classics and French history, this short little English translation of the original might be for you.

            So, take my recommendation and click this link to go buy it: THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL.

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