Kathryn's Reviews > The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
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's review
Oct 12, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: classics, mystery
Read in October, 2007

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 alternately British and French settings, add color and some historical significance. The ingrigue of the Scarlet Pimpernell, the mystery and the goodness, the disgusies and the gallantry, make for some delicious scenes. Margurite, known as "the wittiest woman in Europe" is an engaging, if occasionally annoying, heroine. Sir Percy is the perfect essence of the British fop. Chauvlin is a suitably murky and dispicable "bad guy." While the Baroness' style sometimes verges on the melodramatic, once I aclimated to the overly gushing moments, the swoonily romantic (though very G-rated) scenes, I was able to smile and appreciate the underlying sentiment. While this is certainly not the greatest contribution to literature the world has ever known, it was an enjoyable and entertaining read. I should also add that I already knew (having seen the movie and the musical) who the Scarlet Pimpernell truly was, so that part of the "mystery" was not in it for me--I imagine the mystery would have heightened the enjoyment.
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message 5: by Qt (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:08PM) (new)

Qt Oh, I hope you enjoy it, Katie! I'd heard it was a musical (but haven't seen it), and I enjoyed the book, too.


message 4: by Kathryn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathryn Oh, yes, I remember now that you read the book and enjoyed it! It must have been a more exciting read not already knowing who the Scarlet Pimpernel is. However, knowing the secret, it's also interesting to read through and see how the author handled it all. So far, I'm enjoying the book! Also, I heartily recommend the musical; it has more comedy than the book, I think (Percy is SO funny and foppish in his songs and manners!), but also has the good mystery/romance and the history and tragedy, too.


message 3: by Ann (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Ann I look forward to the review!:)


message 2: by Ann (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:29PM) (new)

Ann Great review, Katie! You managed to capture the essence of the story and the feel of the book (I think). I agree with your review - and I'm so glad you liked the book!:)


message 1: by Kathryn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:29PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathryn Yay! Thanks, glad you enjoyed it and felt it captured the book. Thanks again for recommending it! :->


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