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The Scarlet Pimpernel
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The Scarlet Pimpernel (The Scarlet Pimpernel #1)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  80,465 ratings  ·  3,907 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
Published (first published 1903)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rowena
“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
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jun 27, 2014 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Henry Avila
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
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
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Rachelle
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
Anne
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.
Rej
...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
Lightreads
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
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
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Karen
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 sto
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Jonathan

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 Pi
...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
David
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
Huma Rashid
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
booklady
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
Noran Miss Pumkin
Mar 24, 2008 Noran Miss Pumkin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Joel
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
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
Gwen
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
...more
Annalisa
May 04, 2009 Annalisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Eve
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.
Valerie
Jun 07, 2011 Valerie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Valerie by: Ginny
Couldn't really pass on a book about the French Revolution. After talking to my brother and him practically giving me a history lesson about it I thought it was high time I get to reading it. I would have read a Tale of Two Cities but I'm not sure if I'm up for Dickens now.

Here we have aristocrats being killed at the guillotine left and right without more cause than being an aristocrat. They need to escape but how, when the gates of Paris are impossible to pass? Dum-de-de-daaaaa in comes the Sc
...more
Caitlyn
Jun 28, 2007 Caitlyn added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the effette
I'll just start this by saying, Man, did this book suck.

I decided to read it for two reasons: 1) I love Terrence Mann. He played Chauvelin in the Broadway version and his final note from 'Falcon in the Dive' makes me swoon. 2) Seeing as how I'm going to be a Librarian... I figured I should at least pretend to take an interest in so called 'literature.'

But man. I actually threw the book and said 'what the hell is this shit?' when I finished. There was nothing to it. The only part even remotely en
...more
Amanda
I've read all the Scarlet Pimpernel books, not difficult because they are all variations on one theme. I loved these books when I was a young girl and still have fond memories of them. They are so romantic, in the classical sense. They have everything: The foppish and languid English lord, his beautiful French wife, the dashing Spy Extraordinnaire The Scarlet Pimpernel, evil Frenchmen (are there any other kind?), disguises of all sorts and a happy ending for all. Poking through this as an adult ...more
Jenna
Dec 04, 2008 Jenna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenna by: ?
One of the best books that I've ever read! I loved the twists that it had in it.
Patricia
Jul 23, 2008 Patricia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone in search of escape
Recommended to Patricia by: Alisa
This book is a fun and easy read. It was suspensful and romantic. It is the makings of a great beach read. There were a few words in the author's lexicon that I hadn't seen in a while. I had to dig in the the crevaces of my vocabulary to remember the definitions of words like jogtrot and hors de combat. I don't want to lead anyone astray... this is a pretty easy book to read. I just really enjoyed encountering these long forgotten words.
I thought that the book was pretty predictable, but I stil
...more
Kathryn
On the whole, I quite enjoyed this book! The first 1/3 is a bit slow; it takes awhile to really get a sense for the characters and where their lives are going--which means it takes awhile to really CARE what is happening. However, once Margurite, our lovely heroine, is faced with a terrible either-or decision (to save her beloved brother or help bring about the downfall of the brave and good Scarlet Pimpernell), things start to get interesting! The backdrop of the French Revolution, and the alte ...more
C.P. Lesley
I love this book so much that I wrote my own version, so that pretty much tells you what I think of it. Orczy's novel is typical of its time (1905) in having far more description and "telling" than a twenty-first-century reader expects. But once that reader adjusts his/her focus, s/he will find this story of a swashbuckling hero who hides behind the persona of a foppish aristocrat riveting. Batman, Superman, Zorro: all the dual-identity superheroes get their start here, with Orczy's vision. And ...more
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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...
The Elusive Pimpernel  El Dorado: Further Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel The League Of The Scarlet Pimpernel The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel I Will Repay

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“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”
190 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.” 91 likes
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