Writerlibrarian's Reviews > The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
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's review
Jul 13, 08

bookshelves: historical, july-pile, read2008
Read in July, 2008

This is a reread for me of the early 20th century swash-buckling classic. I read this wonderful tale in my mid teens. Loved it. Reread it less than ten years ago because we had a reissue of the whole series in French. I recently got the soundtrack of the Broadway musical and just felt like reading the novel in it's original version. This story is the grand daddy of all the hero hides behind a mild mannered mask stories. From Zorro to Superman, they all have a little something of the Scarlet Pimpernel in them.

I love Marguerite, she's the real action hero of this tale. She drives the plot and moves things along. We see things from her eyes and feel the danger and suspense along with her. Of course my Scarlet Pimpernel sounds like Anthony Andrews and Chauvelin is a mix of Ian McKellen and Terence Mann (who was the original Chauvelin on Broadway).

I saw the play at Stratford a few years ago and the magic of the plot, the breathtaking daring plot twists still work even if they have now become clichés and somewhat passé in other tales. In this tale they are crisps and brimming with life. Yes, I'm a Scarlet Pimpernel fan.

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