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The Scarlet Pimpernel (The Scarlet Pimpernel, #1)
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Books to read > The Scarlet Pimpernel, January 2013

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Denise | 74 comments And here we go! One chapter per day for the month of January will get us through.


Denise | 74 comments So, chapter 1 sets the scene for us. Paris 1792. While reading the first page I thought again of how much easier I find archaic language to be via audiobook, but by page two I'd forgotten it as an issue.

Clearly, the title character has a sense of humor and is able to think outside the box!


Lenora | 39 comments My brain started making all kinds of connections. I thought about the English Regency books that talked about the French refugees. Then I started thinking about the wealthy CEOs in this country that have become wealthy at the expense of their workers. I love the cleverness of the Scarlet Pimpernel and how he tricks Bibot, who thinks he's better than the other guards.


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Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments It took me a little while to start getting into the story but once we got to the part where the Scarlet Pimpernel (SP) snuck the aristos past the guard then I was okay with continuing so we'll see what happens next.


Angel's Mum I agree with you all...by the end of chapter one I've been hooked and I'm ready for more. I think this one's going to be really good.
@ Nisi, I love the language of different types of books...and how it gets into my head. I once read a bunch of books about Scottish highlanders and found myself thinking in terms of the language that was used, and even had dreams where I spoke like that. I think I may have read too many books in that series one after the other ;)
@ Lenora...how are you going to be able to hold yourself to one chapter a day :) Surely it can't take you more than 5 minutes lovey. Wish I could read that fast. :)


Lenora | 39 comments Truthfully, it was very hard to stop! It took me a little longer because I was kind of groggy from lack of sleep.


message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments Lenora wrote: "Truthfully, it was very hard to stop! It took me a little longer because I was kind of groggy from lack of sleep."
After I read Chapter 2 I thought the same thing.
Something I found interesting in Chapter 2 was the fact that it referenced the 20th century. I guess I had though the book was written in the 19th century but turns out it was published in 1905.


Lenora | 39 comments The switching of setting in chapter 2 threw me at first. Maybe it's to establish the mindset of the typical conservative Englishman of the time as feeling that all "foreigners" from the European continent are not worthy of their notice or concern...or even "evil." I'm curious to see where this goes.


message 9: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments I always have a hard time when authors try to write accents/pronunciations - is it just me?


Lenora | 39 comments It's not bothering me, but it might be because I've been so tired.


Denise | 74 comments Diane, it definitely slows me down to read dialect, but then I guess I hear it in my head as their accent. In most of my reading I probably "hear" it as a nondescript midwestern accent, lol.


Denise | 74 comments Oh, and Lenora, the story will necessarily shift between the two countries because of the content! At least from what I can tell of jacket blurbs and the like.


Lenora | 39 comments That makes sense, Denise. I figured it was going somewhere. I was curious to know where. All I knew about The Scarlet Pimpernel was that it was a classic and it was about a spy. Sometimes I think it's more fun not to know tons about the story ahead of time. I think I just thought "English, somewhat uneducated" in regard to the accent, and I just translated it as I read. It's probably as a result of working with little ones. Kind of like translating their phonetic writing as I read.


message 14: by Denise (last edited Jan 03, 2013 03:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Denise | 74 comments Did you not get the sense by the end of chapter two that here was another "guard" being played? That's what I felt coming on.

"Oh, no Frenchman could ever sneak past me! Why, I'd know them by their horrible foreign accent and be on my guard!"

This seems a good time for a question on procedure... Can we assume that anyone reading the thread is keeping up the one chapter per day pace so we can actually discuss the material for the day? I don't want to spoil it for everyone but it seems to me half the point of a discussion group for the reading itself is being able to discuss as we go. Someone please slap my fingers if I'm doing it wrong.


Lenora | 39 comments I was wondering if I was posting too much. To me, the whole thing is pointless if we can't discuss as we go. I just wish more people would join the discussion, much as I enjoy talking with you, Diane, and AM. That could very well be the point of that scene. You might be right.


message 16: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments Denise - good point - I was wondering how much to say but at one chapter a day I don't think it would be too much to keep up with.
Maybe if we started out each post with CHAPTER X... that way if you hadn't read that chapter yet you could just not read the post?


Lenora | 39 comments That makes sense, Diane. I'll start doing that tomorrow.


Denise | 74 comments Great idea, Diane.


message 19: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments CHAPTER 3 - so who are those two strangers in the corner playing dominoes? Sir Antony (so far) reminds me of someone out of a Georgette Heyer novel - seeming to be one thing but really another. We'll have to wait and see how he turns out.
On a lighter note - I love the inn keeper's name - MR Jellyband - it makes me smile every time I read it.


Lenora | 39 comments Chapter 3 - Diane seems to be having similar thoughts as me. Who are the 2 men in the corner playing dominoes? Are they French spies? I also love Jellyband's name. The whole attitude toward the aristocracy in Britain making people outraged about the aristocracy in France being murdered was kind of an "oh yeah" realization for me. I'm wondering about the identity of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Hmmmm...


message 21: by Angel's Mum (last edited Jan 03, 2013 08:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angel's Mum Chapter III - I too am wondering about the "strangers" in the corner. There's been too many references to them not to suppose they play a much larger part in the grand scheme of things...are they friend or foe? My feeling at this point is foe. I'm not sure, but I get the feeling that Sir Anthony may know the true identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel or pehaps he is him...at this point we don't know, but he must at least be part of the scheme to rescue the aristocracy since it seems the new visitors to the Inn are rescuees. These are just some of the thoughts I've been having...too soon to tell if I'm off base or not, but I'm enjoying the story so far.

Edited to correct grammar...my mind is always too far ahead of my fingers on the keyboard and I don't realize until I proof after posting. :)


Lenora | 39 comments Chapter 3 - I also am wondering if Sir Antony is the Scarlet Pimpernel.


message 23: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments Lenora wrote: "Chapter 3 - I also am wondering if Sir Antony is the Scarlet Pimpernel."
CHAPTER 3 - that was what I was thinking but if it is so obvious I wonder if it really can be him?


Lenora | 39 comments That is also a good thought, Diane.


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Tiffany | 86 comments Mod
Sorry I haven't posted much. My mind has been elsewhere. I have a confession, I read the book. All of it. If you saw in the Amazon thread, you'll know why I needed a good distraction. And the book worked. I haven't been out of bed much in the last two days. I didn't get into the book much the first couple chapters (I have that problem with most books). Anyway, I got into it about chapter 4 and read until I finally fell asleep. I woke up this morning and finished it. However, I plan on re-reading the chapters with you all so I can participate in the discussion. I really liked it and I wasn't expecting to.


message 26: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany | 86 comments Mod
Chapter 1

I just posted that I have a hard time getting into a book during the first chapter or two. I know that they are important to set the time and place.

Chapter 1 was especially hard for me because I really dislike reading about the Reign of Terror. I find it upsetting that people were persecuted for any reason and I've always found the Reign of Terror unsettling.


message 27: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany | 86 comments Mod
Jett wrote: "Chapter 3

So far it is a tad slow for my taste, I thought it would be faster paced. The fact that they beheaded 100's (if not more) of aristocrats because of their last name, well that is just fr..."


I agree. That always unsettled me. I know that there was some wealthy that mistreated the poor, but to make a blanket case and behead them all is crazy. Kind of reminds me (in a not so severe way) how people assume all rich are spoiled and got there by stepping on people. What if I worked hard for my money, made smart investments, and then left it to my kids. Are they supposed to feel guilty that I left them well provided for?


message 28: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments Jett wrote: "Chapter 3

So far it is a tad slow for my taste, I thought it would be faster paced. The fact that they beheaded 100's (if not more) of aristocrats because of their last name, well that is just fr..."

I think it seems slow because we are reading it so slowly - a chapter a day is barely enough to get into the story.


message 29: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments CHAPTER 4:Okay - this is starting to heat up - the one stranger hides under and bench and at the end of the chapter the Blakney's show up! What's going to happen - is there going to be a blow-up between the 2 women? What's the real truth about what happened in France? Who is the Scarlet Pimpernel? Lots of questions - and normally I'd want to keep reading to find out - but...


Lenora | 39 comments Chapter 4: The sneaky trick of hiding under the bench...I had wondered if the mysterious strangers playing dominoes were French spies. It's a little surprising that no one noticed that only one of them went out the door. The Blakeneys showing up...I bet there will be a scene. More information is given about the Scarlet Pimpernel's organization that would lead us to believe Sir Antony isn't the SP himself. I'm very tempted to read on further.


message 31: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments CHAPTER 4
Lenora - you are right about no one noticing that only 1 stranger left. I was wondering the same thing about them being spies because they seemed to be waiting to hear some specific piece of info. I can't wait for Chapter 5 to see what happens next


message 32: by Angel's Mum (last edited Jan 04, 2013 06:48PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angel's Mum I'm with you guys on this one...I think the guy under the table has to be a spy...and who knows what he's about to overhear since everyone was obviously holding back while the "strangers" were there. It is odd that no one noticed that only one of them left. Now I'm sure that I was wrong about Sir Anthony...he only works for the SP, but I knew he had to be a part of it all. Can't wait to see what happens when the women face off...fur might be flying ;)


message 33: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments CHAPTER 5: well I was ready for a cat fight but I guess things were more civilized in those days. Lady Blakney was kind of sarcastic about the situation but as a (new) member of the British upper class she has the upper hand over her poor French "friends". I wonder if she even realizes why they are upset with her. She seems oblivious to the situation - "what fly stings you?" Anyway, I don't think we've seen the last of this "feud"
I do love some of the language in the book "Zounds" and Jellyband ran "hither and thither", "wet as a herring" such interesting words and phrases.


Lenora | 39 comments Chapter 5: The spy hiding under the bench is certainly getting an earful! I agree that we've not seen the last of the feud.


Lindis (northernlindis) | 20 comments I have read way too far, so I am not going to comment on actual goings-on, but I am really enjoying re-reading this book. I read it as a kid, but it seems to be a pretty complete version at least, still I am amazed at all the subtext I have missed! I love the almost Hobbit-like attitudes of the "common folk" to the aristocrats in the UK, contrasted to the French. Thanks for getting me to read this!


Lenora | 39 comments I went ahead and finished the book, so am not going to comment on happenings, either. The slow pace and short segments were impeding my comprehension of the story. Sorry! I really enjoyed the story, though.


Denise | 74 comments I agree that it's the difficult part of any group read. But if no one else is trying, perhaps I don't need to either.


message 38: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments Well - I'm also having trouble reading just one chapter at a time - so if everyone else is reading the whole book I'm going to also. Since there are only a few of us posting anyway. I do have some thoughts about the identity of the SP and don't want to wait ti find out.


Lindis (northernlindis) | 20 comments Perhaps we should change the title to "spoilers welcome" when everybody feels ready to discuss? No spoilers here, jsut my thoughts:

I really got distracted by the way stereotypes were used. How were men and women typically portrayed, what is described as desirable, what is not - social stigma - prejudice. Was the author a real baroness? Of what? Was she describing France or England in 1792 or her own world in 1905?


message 40: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments NL - I haven't read far enough to say one way or another but some of the characters seem familiar from other books. I don't know enough about the social classes of either day to say.


message 41: by Diane (new)

Diane (youknowwho-thedoctor) | 28 comments CHAPTER 7 - Okay so maybe Margarite isn't the heartless b**ch she seemed to be in the previous chapter. And I think her husband (Blakney) isn't the dummy they are thinking he is.


Lenora | 39 comments Diane wrote: "CHAPTER 7 - Okay so maybe Margarite isn't the heartless b**ch she seemed to be in the previous chapter. And I think her husband (Blakney) isn't the dummy they are thinking he is."

The author kind of hits you over the head with the info to make it seem like he's one. It makes you wonder...


Lindis (northernlindis) | 20 comments Lenora wrote: "Diane wrote: "CHAPTER 7 - Okay so maybe Margarite isn't the heartless b**ch she seemed to be in the previous chapter. And I think her husband (Blakney) isn't the dummy they are thinking he is."

T..."


I just love how he is described (Blakeney) - he sounds like such a big, loveable doofus it makes me think of Stone's Bane:) Perhaps he is a human mastiff?


Lindis (northernlindis) | 20 comments Diane wrote: "CHAPTER 7 - Okay so maybe Margarite isn't the heartless b**ch she seemed to be in the previous chapter. And I think her husband (Blakney) isn't the dummy they are thinking he is."

Marguerite is pushed on us so strongly as the most wonderful woman in the world, that it makes me a bit annoyed. But I also find it interesting, since Suzanne confirms more with the image of femininity I was expecting to be idealized in this book. Marguerite is famous for her brain as well as her looks (and boy do I love that she is described as statuesque rather than tiny and dainty!) and I like her just for that:)


Angel's Mum Chapter 8 - Just want to let you all know that I'm still reading along with you. Been really busy at work and haven't had time to stop in and post. This is turning out to be quite a good little book; very entertaining. In the latest turn of events, we learn that there is more to than meets the eye to Marguerite. She is facing a crossroads after "running into" and old friend, and I believe she's going to have to make a life or death decision in the very near future. Stay tuned....


Denise | 74 comments I'm still reading along at the chapter a day but there seems to be increasingly less reason to stick to it. I might just go ahead and finish it off to have fewer books going at once.


Lindis (northernlindis) | 20 comments Denise wrote: "I'm still reading along at the chapter a day but there seems to be increasingly less reason to stick to it. I might just go ahead and finish it off to have fewer books going at once."

Is there anybody still reading along with you? We could change to "spoilers"-rules, and just discuss away?


Denise | 74 comments Don't hold back on my account. I will just wait to check here again after I'm finished. No problem.


Denise | 74 comments Jett wrote: "I've been derailed."

how so?


Denise | 74 comments Jett wrote: "I lost interest. Sorry gang."

Ah well. Maybe the next one. I'm finding it amusing.


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