Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel is by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. One of the three most famous classics set during the French Revolution; the other two being Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities and Sabatini's Scaramouche. This is the epic adventure of Sir Percy Blakeney, whom everyone believes to be a bumbling idiot; but who in reality is the heroic Scarlet Pimpernel. With his small band of followers the Pimpernel saves doomed aristocrats from the guillotine right under the noses of the Revolutionary government. Afraid for her brother's life, Lady Blakeney betrays the Pimpernel to the French Ambassador only to discover afterwards that the Pimpernel is her husband Sir Percy. She races to France to save him or die with him. One of Miss D's favorite classic novels, the 1934 movie version starring Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon is almost as good as the book - but not quite. A delight for adventure lovers of all ages, this series of novels is arguably the genesis of such modern heroes as Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and others who must hide their identity from the world.

Ratings: 9th grade - 10 out of 10.

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