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The Elusive Pimpernel

(The Scarlet Pimpernel (chronological order) #4)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,276 ratings  ·  182 reviews
It is the early days of the French Republic, and Robespierre's revolutionaries find their wicked schemes repeatedly being thwarted. It appears that Sir Percy Blakeney--the cunning and heroic Pimpernel--is more than a match for them all. But Sir Percy's spy-catching archenemy, Chauvelin, has devised a plan. In this swashbuckling sequel to The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sir Percy at ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Dover Publications (first published 1908)
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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,276 ratings  ·  182 reviews

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Allison Tebo
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical-fic
Whew! That was fun and very riveting. I even groaned throughout with uncertainty (#hardlyeverhappens)!

A little less foolishness with the romantic relationship, and a very quick moving engaging plot – I was especially engaged with the mood and atmosphere and a real sense of place and time.... and of course who doesn't love to see arch enemies meet again? The repartee and tension between Chauvelin and Percy is excellent, although I was a little disappointed at not seeing them swordfight.

A page tur
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is my second foray into Pimpernel literature. This is actually the third book chronologically. I'm not sure yet how episodic the story works out...this is evidently taking place after the first novel but I didn't feel like I missed out on anything by skipping the second book. It also didn't really feel like much would have been missed by skipping the first book (although the first did involve more character development of the core characters). I would recommend reading the first novel first ...more
Tricia Mingerink
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really, really, really loved this book! Why?

1). It has a very fast pace. By chapter 4, the events are already building to the climax.

2). I happen to really love Marguerite as a character as most of this book is once again told in her POV.

3). It is absolutely hilarious! Most of the Scarlet Pimpernel books are funny in some measure, but much of this book, and especially the ending had me snorting with laughter. The author very cleverly uses what we consider today to be clichés and turns them
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Still a really good read. Action, adventure and romance. Loved it.
Katelyn Buxton
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any scene with Marguerite and Percy Blakeney in it is bound to be A+. Any scene with The Scarlet Pimpernel and Chauvelin is bound to be A++. And since I Will Repay introduced a whole new cast of characters, it was so lovely to get back to the original ones again and watch The Scarlet Pimpernel run rings around Monsieur Chauvelin. I was cracking up more than once—and while this is probably going to be one of the shortest reviews I’ve written in a long time—I don’t think there’s much to say. Baron ...more
C.P. Lesley
Like so many of the Pimpernel stories, this one has a good story at its heart. The ever-hopeful Chauvelin (seriously under pressure from Robespierre and his goons, given his past failures) comes up with yet another scheme to lure his arch-enemy to French shores with the intent of capturing the Scarlet Pimpernel and sending him to the guillotine. Also as ever, Chauvelin receives unintentional help from his quarry’s well-meaning and passionately devoted but, alas, not terribly bright wife, Marguer ...more
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Baroness Emma Orczy was a British playwright, artist, and novelist. She was born in Hungary and died in 1947. She may be best known today as the author of the novel, The Scarlet Pimpernel, to which she went on to write about two dozen sequels. I fondly recall the 1982 made-for-TV production of this most famous of her books, starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Ian McKellen. Shortly thereafter I read the book and was equally captivated. Recently I was looking for an audio-book to keep me e ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just awful. Magnifies all the weaknesses of The Scarlet Pimpernel, to the point where the sequel has made me like the first book less than I did originally. The plot here is flimsy at best, the histrionics are neverending, and the aristocracy-worship is seriously out of hand.

The sad thing is that there's an interesting conflict buried deep beneath the swooning fits, between Percy's love of adventure and his love for Marguerite/her desire to keep him safe at home. But it isn't addressed in a mean
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, kindle
Percy might be my favorite person in the world. He is so funny and amazing and awesome at everything he does. Marguerite always makes me concerned that he won't do it. I actually thought this time it might be the end of the Scarlet Pimpernel. I am so weak minded. I should have had faith in him.
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is the weakest of the Pimpernel books I've read, but it's still enjoyable. The villain spends so much time talking in monologues, that very little happens after the first third of the book. He goes on forever, far more than was needed. It really got old. Then, all of a sudden, the big escape happened in the blink of an eye and the book was over. This entry in the series isn't paced nearly as well as the other 2 Pimpernel books I've read, and it feels lazy and uninspired in comparison. That ...more
Dec 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reading
The story was not nearly as interesting as the original book. Even the sequel to this one is better (Eldorado). No swashbuckling! Seriously? This is the Scarlet Pimpernel after all.

In spite of the less-than-fascinating storyline, I enjoyed the exceptional writing. It's amazing that Orczy had such a terrific grasp of English since it was not her first language. The theme of self-sacrifice for the good of others is also a boon to this book.

I plan to read all 11 titles in the Pimpernel anthology,
Nov 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book "I Will Repay" is important to read first, because it sets up the plot and scene for "The Elusive Pimpernel." The book keeps me guessing whether or not Sir Percy & Marguerite will fall into a trap set by their enemy. I can picture myself there, and I wonder what I would do in the same situation. How will the Scarlet Pimpernel save the lives of innocent people and get his band out alive? You will have to read it to find out.
I enjoy all the Scarlet Pimpernel books. I find it easier
Lisa Brown
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book continues the story of the Scarlet Pimpernel (Sir Percy) and his wife Marguerite. Led into a trap, they are to choose between their freedom and the lives of many innocent people. Although the story wasn't as captivating as the original, and dragged a little at times, I really enjoyed it. It was exciting and fun, and had just enough of the wonderful romance between Percy and his wife to make it great.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh how I love Percy Blakeney! 😍

This book was such a fun read. It was as exciting as the first Scarlet Pimpernel book but now Marguerite knows her husband’s secret.

Not gonna lie, sometimes the descriptions of the love between Percy and Marguerite were very dramatic and said all the time and it would get a bit annoying. I’m happy that they love each other and all but do we have to say how Marguerite’s love for her husband is true and passionate every time she sees him?

Also, I am amazed how people
Tiina Susanna
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lovely light adventure from cruesome times of French revolution.
Historical facts are correct, and its pleasure to read this !
Laura (Book Scrounger)
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
3.5 stars

I shouldn't have waited so long to get back into the world of Percy and Marguerite Blakeney (perhaps I would have enjoyed this even more as a teenager), but it was quite enjoyable to read another Scarlet Pimpernel adventure. I don't think it quite lives up to the first one, but I wouldn't really expect sequels to do that since the "unmasking" has already happened.

I should note that I was initially confused by some of the references in this book that were looking back to the previous ad
Feb 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book! For once we have a hero of a tale that uses his head instead of any other special talents. I love how smart the Scarlet Pimpernel is, and I love the banter between him and his enemies. I would say I liked it just as well as the first which for me is kind of rare. With the first in a series you get to discover it for the first time once and I feel sometimes something just isn't as magical in a follow up. Emmuska Orczy did a great job! I am somewhat surprised I like the ...more
Leah Good
This is the first Scarlet Pimpernel book I have read and not adored. The first three quarters of the book were spent mostly on set up and relied heavily on long passages of exposition. However, the last quarter came through with classic Scarlet Pimpernel style. Sir Percy is backed into a tough corner and, for the first time, I questioned his ability to get out of it. If you are a Scarlet Pimpernel fan and are willing to sift some pebbles to find the gold nuggets, you will probably enjoy this boo ...more
Feb 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have been hoodwinked. I now know why I had such a hard time getting into this book and why it was SO confusing. I thought I was reading "The Scarlet Pimpernel" but it turns out I was reading the third book in the series. I couldn't figure out WHY the movie was so much different than the book!!! hahaha. I sure feel like an idiot now. I downloaded the wrong book onto my nook. Well, I really liked this book and can't wait to read the ORIGINAL!
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
this book was like reading a poorly acted play. the characters are all belabored and even the protagonist gets tiresome after a few chapters. there was very little action, intrigue, and way too much speculative internal monologue.
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
"My hat's off to you, Sir Percy. You've done it again!"

Basically my reaction to this book. <3
Phil Clymer
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as the first in the series, but Elusive is a fast paced fun read. Once again goodness triumphs over the vile revolutionaries. All is well with the world.
Cedar Lea
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book comes after the Scarlet Pimpernel, as Chauvelin is given another opportunity to try and bring down the Scarlet Pimpernel. Through a clever plan, he tricks Sir Percy into agreeing to duel with him in Boulogne and also lures Marguerite to France, where she is captured. Chauvelin present Sir Percy with a choice: give up his honor, or let his wife be taken to the Temple prison where she will be tortured like Marie Antoinette. If Marguerite or Sir Percy escapes, the Republic will then kill ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 2018
The dastardly Citizen Chauvelin sets a trap tap to lure Sir Percy and Lady Marguerite Blakeney to France to do away with them once and for all. Can the Scarlet Pimpernel save the day?

I was hoping that this book might be worth something because it is a 1908 American first edition. Then on reading I discovered Chapter 4 was missing and Chapters 5 and 6 were included twice. Maybe, like a misprinted stamp, it is worth more in this form?

One of the fun things about reading a book ths old is having to
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another rousing installment! The intense romance between Marguerite and Percy is the main focus of this tale, and doesn't disappoint. Yet somehow this was less satisfying than other adventures because the challenge facing Percy seemed so insurmountable, with no hints of how he would get out of his situation until the last 20 percent of the book (reading on Kindle so not sure how that works out in pages). It had a very miraculous effect and also no clever disguises on Percy's part. Percy's scheme ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adventure fans
Shelves: cheapthrills
This novel was quick-paced with a plot nearly as inventive as the original The Scarlet Pimpernel. Much better than I Will Repay, probably because that book entirely lacked Marguerite while she is all over this one. I had the misfortune of reading a Google Books version with OCR errors. I wish more online editions would just use the scanned page images instead of OCR. Then I wouldn't have to read about the villain "Chauvelia" or "Mile." for "Mlle." (Mademoiselle). C'est la vie.
Anna S.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Listened to on LibriVox read by Karen Savage. this book was so much fun. It was predictable at times, but that did not make it less enjoyable for me. This book is fast-paced, fun, and funny. there were a few times listening to it I found myself laughing because I knew would be coming next or at least thought I had a pretty good idea how the scenario would unfold.

[potential spoilers]
Although occasionally (ok, oftentimes) Marguerite's behavior reminded me a little too much of Armand in Eldorado.
Kest Schwartzman
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
This novel is a product of its time, and I shouldn't hold that against it. But holy HELL the style is hard to get past. The entire first chapter is as though every punctuation mark!
every period! comma! semicolon!
all of them!
were replaced with exclamation points!
And then every exclamation point became a paragraph marker!
I couldn't read it aloud. it's not even possible It did calm down a little after that, but even so.

Still, I like the story well enough, and I've enjoyed radio adaptions of these
Gabrial Greenlee
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
alack, alack, Alex Trebeck, I started with this one because I found it at a thrift store for fifty cents. I also picked up Eldorado and will continue the saga there although based on this one jumping around shouldn't be too big of a deal. Now I will have to find the first books and the latter ones. alack, alack, Alex Trebeck! It was a good book, I can definitely see where Zorro, Batman, even the Joker all sort of stem from the scarlet pimpernel. ha. stem from. cause you know, a scarlet pimpernel ...more
E.M. Murren
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This cover makes sense only if you read the book... It is a climax of the work, so no spoilers. 😇 It was good, but not as good as the original. I like the characters, but the plots are contrived in this a bit and it is as if they have been married a decade but he sleeps in a different wing from her in their house. I love his character though... Which is why I keep reading. 😀
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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

Other books in the series

The Scarlet Pimpernel (chronological order) (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Sir Percy Leads the Band (Scarlet Pimpernel #2)
  • I Will Repay
  • The Way Of The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Mam'zelle Guillotine
  • El Dorado: Further Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Sir Percy Hits Back
  • The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel
  • A Child of the Revolution
  • Pimpernel and Rosemary