The Scarlet Pimpernel

by Baroness Orczy

January 1, 2011 | Trade Paperback |

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In 1972, during the French Revolution, twenty English aristocrats-"one to command, and nineteen to obey"-form a secret society to save their French counterparts from the guillotine. No one knows who they are, but the leader signs his nots with a small red flower, a scarlet pimpernel. A fictional and wishful creation of the author, who was forced to leave her native Hungary as a young woman due to fear of a peasant rebellion, The Scarlet Pimpernel, first produced as a play in 1903, and its sequels made the fortunes of the Baroness.

Paris: September 1792: 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. The hour, some little time before sunset, and the place, the West Barricade, at the very spot where, a decade later, a proud tyrant raised an undying monument to the nation's glory and his own vanity. During the greater part of the day the guillotine had been kept busy at its ghastly work: all that France had boasted of in the past centuries, of ancient names, and blue blood, had paid toll to her desire for liberty and for fraternity. The carnage had only ceased at this late hour of the day because there were other more interesting sights for the people to witness, a little while before the final closing of the barricades for the night. And so the crowd rushed away from the Place de la Grève and made for the various barricades in order to watch this interesting and amusing sight.

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: January 1, 2011

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307291871

ISBN - 13: 9780307291875

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The Scarlet Pimpernel

by Baroness Orczy

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: January 1, 2011

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307291871

ISBN - 13: 9780307291875

From the Publisher

In 1972, during the French Revolution, twenty English aristocrats-"one to command, and nineteen to obey"-form a secret society to save their French counterparts from the guillotine. No one knows who they are, but the leader signs his nots with a small red flower, a scarlet pimpernel. A fictional and wishful creation of the author, who was forced to leave her native Hungary as a young woman due to fear of a peasant rebellion, The Scarlet Pimpernel, first produced as a play in 1903, and its sequels made the fortunes of the Baroness.

Paris: September 1792: 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. The hour, some little time before sunset, and the place, the West Barricade, at the very spot where, a decade later, a proud tyrant raised an undying monument to the nation's glory and his own vanity. During the greater part of the day the guillotine had been kept busy at its ghastly work: all that France had boasted of in the past centuries, of ancient names, and blue blood, had paid toll to her desire for liberty and for fraternity. The carnage had only ceased at this late hour of the day because there were other more interesting sights for the people to witness, a little while before the final closing of the barricades for the night. And so the crowd rushed away from the Place de la Grève and made for the various barricades in order to watch this interesting and amusing sight.

From the Jacket

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.”

About the Author

Baroness Emmuska Orczy artist, playwright, and author, was born in Tarnaörs, Hungary, in 1865. Although all her manuscripts were written in English, she did not learn the language until she and her parents, Baron Felix and Countess Emma Orczy, moved to London when she was fifteen. Schooled as a painter, she married fellow art student John Montagu Barstow in 1894. Although some of her paintings were accepted by the Royal Academy in London, the influence of the works of Dickens and Bret Harte, as well as newly popular light fiction from America, encouraged her to write. A prolific author, the Baroness penned dozens of romantic novels, detective stories, and plays, but is best remembered for The Scarlet Pimpernel. Based on an idea that came to her on a London underground platform, the story took just five weeks to write and become a huge success in print, on stage, and in film. Her other works include The Man in Grey, Skin O' My Tooth, The Laughing Cavalier, and Eldorado, a sequel to The Scarlet Pimpernel. Baroness Orczy died in London in 1947.
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