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

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  105,585 Ratings  ·  5,201 Reviews
"Who is this man, this Scarlet Pimpernel?"

Each day this question grew more pressing to the rulers of the French Revolution. Only this man and his band of followers threatened their total power. Only this maddeningly elusive figure defied the vast network of fanatics, informers and secret agents that the Revolution spread out to catch its enemies.

Some said this man of many
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Paperback, 248 pages
Published September 1st 1974 by Signet Classics (first published 1905)
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Anne
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's my new and improved title for this book...
The Scarlet Pimpernel: A Classic That Doesn't Suck Sweaty Balls.

description

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things I do on a daily basis that make me a bad person, but not being able to force myself to read (in my opinion) outdated and overrated books is not one of them.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 other readers out there like me, I'm sure of it! And it's you guys that I'm talking to
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PirateSteve
Odd's Fish ! Is this book an action adventure, a romance, historical fiction?
Baroness Orczy has provided us with all that.
Tis a fun romp, I say.
Had I known how much of this story was romance, I might not have read it but then I would have missed out on how good an all round story it really is.
Baroness Orczy was a playwright and this book was adapted into a play or the play was adapted into the book. I know not which was first.
It does have it's faults but still deserving of it's place in liter
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
description
I've always had a thing for books that use the Scarlet Pimpernel trope: the intelligent, capable person who hides behind a mask of inanity. So Emma Orczy gets extra points from me for popularizing this secret identity plot device in her 1905 book The Scarlet Pimpernel.

It's 1792, the early days of the French Revolution, and the Reign of Terror is at its peak: thousands of French aristocrats, men, women and children, are sent to the guillotine, regardless of actual fault. But a group of brave Engl
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Rowena
Feb 21, 2011 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
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Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨
description

★★★★★★★★★☆[9/10]

Ah, classic.
How I had always imagined that the classics are only for those who are born, brought up, spoon-fed in and potty-trained in English and how wrong was I to think that they are out of the reach of people like me who had only subnormal command over the English language.

Among many other popular authors of the classic era, Emmuska Orczy was a name much bandied about for her magnum opus, "The Scarlet Pimpernel" , even during my school days. I can't quite pinpoint th
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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
Duane
This novel is set in 1792 in England and France during the French Revolution's "Reign of Terror". In spite of the time and seriousness of these events, the novel doesn't take itself too seriously. Baroness Orczy wasn't trying to be political or make a statement, she was just trying to write a good story. What she wrote was a rollicking bit of a mystery/adventure/intrigue that was (for me) surprisingly good.

The story is about an unknown, but gallant, Englishman and his secret band of followers w
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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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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Apr 29, 2014 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
Aug 05, 2013 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
Lyn
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rick Flair talks about The Scarlet Pimpernel.

WHOOOOOOOAAAAA!

LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHIN, BROTHER, THIS IS ONE BAD MAMMA JAMMA OF A BOOK, YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN??

Let me step it down a notch for you literary librarian types and let me pose a question: was the Scarlet Pimpernel the first masked superhero? I mean I’m thinkin about Batman, Green Hornet, The Shadow – right? All those cats had a hidden identity and they had their crime fightin side too.

YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN??? The Stylin', profilin',
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Malia
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-lit
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
Rachelle
Feb 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joseph
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, british
The book was not what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a dark and bloody story of the French Revolution, but instead I was introduced to James Bond's great great grandfather. A good action story for the time it was written and of course it is who tries to saves the day. The story reads like an old movie serial, fast moving story line, likeable (and hate-able) characters all in the right places. Good read for a weekend.
Sara
They seek him here,
They seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.


What fun! An old-fashioned rollicking romance, with dashing young cavaliers and twisted misunderstandings between lovers, set against the horrors of the French Reign of Terror. The Scarlet Pimpernel himself is slightly more daring and strong than his followers and clever enough to be an Oscar Wilde character.

I admit to not being surprised by a single turn of the storyline. I suspect that I saw this in movie form back in m
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Allison Tebo
Whew, I flew through this one - I was definitely pulled in from page one.

What I Liked:

Ah - I do love the old style of writing. After slogging through some modern writers recently, opening this book was like slipping into warm and soothing water.

Can we just talk about the POV? It seems that only old writers can do the removed POV and still have some much incredible emotional impact. The emotional impact was palpable; I was almost choking a couple of times with the realness of Marguerite's panic
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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
Apr 25, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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Jaya
I read this book for the first time, almost 16 years back. It was part of those Reader's Digest compiled editions, which has three-four famous books across different genres. Since then, I think I must have consumed this story in all forms available-the book, the movie, the tele series, the audio play, audio book and still on a lookout for a version/medium that I haven't come across.
YES. THAT IS HOW MUCH I LOVE THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL :)

It was infact this book that introduced me to historical roma
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Zane Jones
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure if I'll write a real review, but this book was fantastic. *fangirls wildly*
Karen
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 STARS

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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. B
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Sud666
Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála "Emmuska" Orczy de Orci, or Baroness Orczy as a pen name, was a Hungarian born-British novelist. She wrote the Scarlet Pimpernel in 1905 and her main protagonist- Sir Percy Blakeney, who is a wealthy noble fop of an Englishman but also a skilled swordsman and brave rescuer of French nobles from the Terror, is often looked at as the first hero with a "secret identity". Based on that intriguing concept and the fact this is one of those "classics" ...more
Katelyn Buxton
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think The Scarlet Pimpernel has single-handedly rocketed itself into the top five of my favorite classics list. I. Love. This. Book.

While reading it, I kept wondering why I hadn't read it sooner! It had been on my TBR for a while, and I was ecstatic upon the discovery that it was free in ebook form on Amazon. But everything else kept getting in the way of reading it... it was always just a little too low in my priorities... so I was glad when #AuthorBookClub on Twitter decided to read it this
...more
Puck
Look! What is that over there? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? *gasp*
No! It's an old classic that is surprisingly very exciting and adventurous! It's The Scarlet Pimpernel!

It’s 1792 and in the city of Paris the French Revolution is in full swing. Or better said, the guillotine is in full swing, because thousands of French aristocrats are dying faster than they can cry “Mon Dieu!” Their only hope is a group of brave English noblemen, led by the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel. Like an anti-Robin Hood
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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 P
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Eve
Jul 10, 2008 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.
David
Jul 05, 2009 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
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Kate Willis
Complicated characters. A married romance. DISGUISES. It’s like someone took my Christmas list and wrote me a book. Seriously! This story is soooo brilliant. Even though this time was a re-read, the suspense was still terrible. (I couldn’t even remember what happened when Pimpernel and Chauvelin were eating together at the inn!) I enjoyed the characters much more this time since I understood them. How could Sir Percy—”He, the sleepiest, dullest, most British Britisher that had ever set a pretty ...more
Noran Miss Pumkin
Mar 24, 2008 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
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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 13 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
  • A Child of the Revolution
  • The Way Of The Scarlet Pimpernel
“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”
240 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.” 116 likes
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