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The Scarlet Pimpernel (The Scarlet Pimpernel (publication order) #1)

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  97,185 Ratings  ·  4,538 Reviews
Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down.
Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published (first published 1905)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anne
Jul 21, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it
Here's my new and improved title for this book...
The Scarlet Pimpernel: A Classic That Doesn't Suck Sweaty Balls.

I can't usually make it through classic literature.
Does this make me a bad person?
I think not.
There are manymanymany other things I do on a daily basis that make me a bad person, but not being able to force myself to read (in my opinion) outdated and overrated books is not one of them.

There are readers out there like me, I'm sure of it! And it's you guys that I'm talking to now.
Re
...more
Rowena
Apr 27, 2014 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy

It’s been too long since I last enjoyed a classic novel and I was beginning to fear that I was falling out of love with my favourite genre. Well, I found the remedy with “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” What a lot of fun!

The French Revolution is one of my favour
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
If, like me, you watched the movie more times than you'd care to admit when you were growing up; or if, like me, you've read all of Georgette Heyer's Regency romances and then some, you'll love this book. It doesn't pretend to be anything extraordinary, it doesn't even offer a social commentary on the period in which it's set - written by an aristocrat who is clearly on the side of the aristocrats, it's easy to see where her sympathies lie. But it is a rollicking good ride, a fun adventure story ...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jun 27, 2014 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical adverture fans - Hungarian Author
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Joseph Spuckler
Melodrama all the rage when this was written so be prepared, it’s pretty silly. A fast easy read you can whip off in no time that’s a lot of fun. Odd’s fish but that Sir Percy is HIGHLY amusing! “The foppish ways, the affected movements, the perpetual inane laugh.” High intrigue will keep you turning those pages, and who can resist a guy named Pimpernel who runs around in various disguises rescuing people from having their heads lopped off? Loved him for “his marvellous audacity, the boundless ...more
Henry Avila
May 09, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the guillotine dropped quickly, remorselessly, and often, there arose a mysterious Englishman, who crossed the channel, to rescue the French Aristocrats ( mostly innocent victims), he called himself, "The Scarlet Pimpernel" . Named after a modest, British flower, this person organized a band of twenty high-born men, he like the flower, was unpretentious . Their daring deeds, thrilled the world, Antoine Fouquier-Tinville, director of the French government, wants to capture these enemies. Off ...more
Madeline
Aug 22, 2011 Madeline rated it liked it
Okay, I read this for exactly two reasons: one, I thought this book was on The List (it's not); and two, the Scarlet Pimpernel is the inspiration for the Bruce Wayne/Batman dichotomy and I am a giant dork.

For a book about a secret team of English nobleman working to rescue French nobles from the scary revolutionists who want them dead, this is a surprisingly unexciting book. The pace is fast, and there's plenty of spying and blackmailing and races against time, but there isn't a single fistfigh
...more
Rachelle
Dec 22, 2013 Rachelle rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It is so much better than the movie. I love the movie too....but the book is so much richer in detail. The only reason I didn't go for a 5 is that I am a sentimental fool and I wanted to see more of the reconciliation of Percy and Marguerite. It ended so quickly. There was so much build up as Marguerite realizes her errors - and her love...that I wanted some more resolution there. There were some good thoughts that I really related to...it says of Marguerite "..she, too, had w ...more
Lightreads
Apr 25, 2012 Lightreads rated it did not like it
So boring. So boring.

I read this weeks ago, and I've been waiting ever since for someone else in the group to come out with a great review. Something transformative. It would compare this to Radcliff and nineteenth-century opera and talk about modes of romanticism. Or it'd be one of those intensely personal reviews about a grimey, sweaty summer spent singing in the chorus line for a production of Pimpernel, and the backstage affair whose passions ebbed in counterpoint to the story. Or, I don't k
...more
Sparrow
I’ve watched quite a few episodes of Scooby Doo, The Road Runner, and Looney Tunes in my time, so a lot of the twists and turns in this story were spoilered for me long before I started listening to this book. Also, for many years, after I first heard the title of this book in high school, I thought it was called The Scarlet Pumpernickel, which always sounded rather disgusting to me. Who wants their bread to be the color of blood? Not this girl. And I don’t even particularly care for normal-colo ...more
Lynne King
Henry in his excellent review this morning reminded me of this super book I own.

I have a Folio edition and these books are of first-class quality. The "mysterious" illustrations by Lucy Weller all add to the notion of intrigue in this novel. And finally with an introduction by Hilary Mantel, what could be better.

A sentence that comes to mind as I browse through this book:

"The Scarlet Pimpernel, mademoiselle, 'he said at last, 'is the name of a humble English wayside flower, but it is also the
...more
Karen
Oct 14, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
5 STARS

 photo 3d123bdd019d621a4363476bff340e22.jpg

We seek him here, we seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven? - Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel”


All these years…. and I’m finally reading this! I’ve seen the movies, several of them over the years, and I finally broke down and read the book. And yes, as you would expect, it was so much better. Aren’t they all.

If you’re not familiar with the story, The Scarlet Pimpernel is a wayside flower that proliferates Great Britain and Europe. But in this st
...more
Jonathan
Oct 03, 2011 Jonathan rated it it was amazing

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


The Scarlet Pimpernel is a brilliant novel and fully deserves five stars pinned to its jacket for valour. I first read this astounding novel as part of a holiday classics read and helped inspire me to read more classic novels so brilliant is this novel.

Few other novels contain the same mix of drama, action, romance and sheer character conflict as the Scarlet P
...more
David
Jul 10, 2009 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
I read this concurrently with Victoria Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway". Mrs D. has no plot to speak of -- its virtues are in the characterization and the writing. The Scarlet Pimpernel is the direct opposite - its whole point is the plot. The characters are more or less your generic swashbuckling regulars, and the writing ranges from tolerable to truly atrocious.

But perhaps it's a little unfair to burden "The Scarlet Pimpernel" with exalted literary pretensions. First and foremost, it's an adventure stor
...more
Ally (The Scribbling Sprite)
Set amid the events of The French Revolution, The Scarlet Pimpernel is a swashbuckling tale full of adventure, romance, and intrigue. England's daring hero, named for a "humble English wayside flower" (page 40) rebels against the Reign of Terror in France, saving countless people from the guillotine. But the French agent Chauvelin is determined to reveal The Scarlet Pimpernel's true identity and see him perish at the fate he has saved so many others from.

This novel was such good fun! I thought i
...more
Chiara Pagliochini
“La cercan qui, la cercan là,
dove si trovi nessuno lo sa.
Che catturare mai non si possa,
quella dannata Primula Rossa?”


Quand’ero bambina, possedevo un libro geniale, pirotecnico, intrigante che credo non abbia mai smesso di esercitare la sua influenza su di me. Si chiamava “366 storie della buonanotte” e ancora lo conservo e lo sfoglio con piacere, sebbene le pagine si siano tutte sfaldate lungo il dorso. Non sono mai riuscita a leggere quelle 366 storie in sequenza, ma son certa di averle alme
...more
Eve
Jun 13, 2015 Eve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was not what I thought it would be. Who'd of thought that swashbuckling would be superceeded by romance?! Would turn around and reread this in an instant.
Malia
Apr 26, 2015 Malia rated it really liked it
I have to admit, I just fell for the title of this book, The Scarlet Pimpernel just sounds like fun:-) As it happens, the story lives up to expectations. Set in the eighteenth century, the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel is a notoriously secretive Englishman, who rescues French royals from the guillotine. The story is told from the point of view of Marguerite, a French woman married to an English aristocrat, Percy Blakeney. Her marriage is unhappy, because her husband is ignoring her after having d ...more
j
This book is about a fashionable lady who thinks she's better than her husband, but don't worry, it has a happy ending: she learns that her husband is actually a superhero and she was wrong to have opinions (outside of preferred colors for ball gowns). She learns this through hiding in the corner and crying throughout the entire book.

It's like The Count of Monte Cristo, in that there is a little bit of action and a whole lot of French people and many ridiculous disguises. But if, like, instead o
...more
booklady
Dec 13, 2013 booklady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone over the age of 14
Semi-light-hearted story of a gallant Englishman who risks his life to save aristocrats from Madame Guillotine during the French Revolution. Very enjoyable read and often overlooked; maybe because it isn't quite serious enough to be considered a classic and not quite funny enough to be classified as a comedy? Whatever you "call" it, you should give it a read. Have not read the sequels yet, but have enjoyed several different film versions. A timeless Good Read!

Was reminded to update this review w
...more
Marquise
Books should come with a warning:

"READERS BEWARE:
Rereading is an occupational hazard,
that causes anguish and emotional trauma
when you realise the book
you thought was the best in the world
years ago,
actually sucks lemons."


That happened with "The Scarlet Pimpernel," a swash-yer-buckles-for-this little novel that yours truly read decades ago and enjoyed, and that now yours truly finds . . . uh, not very good.

Melodrama is my main objection to this story. Emmuska Orczy indulges overmuch in thea
...more
Huma Rashid
Feb 13, 2011 Huma Rashid rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic
This. Book. Is. Legendary.

There aren't enough words to do it justice. It's a fast-paced, swash-buckling tale of a young English nobleman and his gang of daring friends that rescue French aristocrats and their families that have been doomed to the guillotine by the revolutionaries during the storm of the Bastille. It's a tough sell - getting us to be sympathetic to the aristocrats after the horrors the French commoners lived through before the Revolution, but the author somehow manages.

What I par
...more
Stacey
I would love to re-read this, but sadly, I think the evil book gnomes might steal some of my stars if I attempted it. I read this when I was a kid, and thereafter saw the movie (the 1982 version with Jane Seymour.) By that time, I'd already learned my snobbish book ways, and thought the movie was atrocious and could never compare to the book. (The book I had read when I was only 9 or so. I wonder how much of it I just didn't get, being a child and all. Ha!)

But... some 18 years later I met and m
...more
Noran Miss Pumkin
Mar 24, 2008 Noran Miss Pumkin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone--even teens
Recommended to Noran by: my father william
Shelves: percy
i grew up on the classic black and white film with my father telling me about it again and again. now in my 40's i decided to read the novel, only to discover there are like 15 in the series--most not available in the usa, and they were written by a women. well, there in a scene that brought me to tears, not of sadness , but of heartache. the passage was a expression of such love between a man and a woman he might not see again-- i wept. i do not go to chick flicks ever, and i was crying.
there o
...more
Morgan
Love, love, love. This book is amazing!

Recommended for: Ages 12 to Adult (reading level, mild romance, action violence)

My friends, especially my friend Ashley, told me that I had to read this book. I downloaded it to my kindle, and didn't really read it. Ashely kept getting onto me about reading it, and I would just be like, "yeah, I'm going to." I'd read a few chapters when I was half asleep and gotten completely lost on it, and I just kind of didn't care. I kept thinking I probably needed to j
...more
Linda

"We seek him here, we seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere!
Is he in heaven? Or is he in hell?
That deemed elusive Pimpernel?"

Someone very daring and bold is helping the aristocrats flee from France during the French Revolution, and that man is on the lips of everyone - adored by a few, but hated by many. He calls himself The Scarlet Pimpernel, and has become an icon for equality and freedom. Funny thing that the revolution preaches liberté, égalité and fraternité when the guillotine
...more
Annalisa
May 04, 2009 Annalisa rated it really liked it
Recommended to Annalisa by: Diana
They seek him here, they seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demmed elusive Pimpernel.

Now doesn't that sound like a fun story? It is. For something written over a century ago and what I remember of one of the goofy cinematic adaptions, I expected a slower story typical of the era. But instead I found the first icon of pop fiction: something the critics hated and the public loved. It's Batman set in historical fiction. The Scarlet Pimpernel is
...more
Zeek
Jan 10, 2015 Zeek rated it really liked it
Fun book! I couldn't help feeling as I read The Scarlet Pimpernel, that I've been here before. I realized quick enough- I have.

I've been in exactly the same place in all those regency romance novels I've read in the past where the hero pretends to be something he's not and in every secret identity superhero story ever told.

It's said of TSP that it's a precursor to the masked avenger novels such as Zorro in addition to comic book characters such as Batman and Superman and any other dual identity
...more
Gwendolyn Gage
Oct 13, 2014 Gwendolyn Gage rated it really liked it
I love the story of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I've seen both movies -- the one starring Leslie Howard, and the one starring Anthony Andrews, and I'll admit that the latter is my favorite. Naturally, I had to read the orginal book that inspired these great movies, and I'm surprised it took me this long to do it.

The Scarlet Pimpernel was written by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, and was published in 1905. The writing style and narritive language is late nineteeth century, and the author uses third-person om
...more
Becky
Apr 16, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, and a rather satisfying story of redemption and love.

I would have liked to see a bit more about why the Scarlet Pimpernel set out on his mission in the first place. It seems rather disappointing for it to be simply sport. Not very noble to play with peoples' lives.

Aside from that, I did enjoy the story. I loved the way that Marguerite grew during the course of the story, as well as how she was able to overcome her pride in order to recognize wha
...more
Cherie
A classic not to be missed! I am only sorry that it took me so many years to get around to reading it.

The audio, so wonderfully done by Ralph Cosham was 10 stars!
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Full name: Emma ("Emmuska") Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála Orczy de Orczi was a Hungarian-British novelist, best remembered as the author of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1905). Baroness Orczy's sequels to the novel were less successful. She was also an artist, and her works were exhibited at the Royal Academy, London. Her first venture into fiction was with crime stories. Among her most popular c ...more
More about Emmuska Orczy...

Other Books in the Series

The Scarlet Pimpernel (publication order) (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • I Will Repay
  • The Elusive Pimpernel
  • El Dorado: Further Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Lord Tony's Wife
  • The First Sir Percy: an Adventure of the Laughing Cavalier
  • The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Pimpernel and Rosemary
  • Sir Percy Hits Back
  • The Adventures Of The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • A Child of the Revolution

Share This Book



“They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demned elusive Pimpernel”
217 likes
“Had he but turned back then, and looked out once more on to the rose-lit garden, she would have seen that which would have made her own sufferings seem but light and easy to bear--a strong man, overwhelmed with his own passion and despair. Pride had given way at last, obstinacy was gone: the will was powerless. He was but a man madly, blindly, passionately in love and as soon as her light footstep 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, where her tiny hand had rested last.” 105 likes
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