The Scarlet Pimpernel
by Emma Orczy(1865-1947)

The Scarlet Pimpernel narrates the story of a rich English baronet who rescues French aristocrats facing the guillotine. He also taunted his enemies after each rescue by leaving behind a card that has a small flower on it – the scarlet pimpernel. It is a brilliant adventure story set at the time of the French Revolution. The plot is fantastic and rarely lets the readers pause for breath as it oscillates between London society and the dark night in Coastal France.

The story follows a beautiful Countess who escapes from Paris as a committee there was making arrangements to send her to the guillotine. She is smuggled out by the Scarlet Pimpernel and brought to England. There she encounters young people who are part of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel and all have sworn to live and die for their leader.

There is also Lady Blakeney, the wife of one of the most fashionable gentlemen in England, who is threatened by the French Ambassador to find information about the Scarlet Pimpernel. She successfully gathers the required information that would identify the man. The final stages of the book take place in France where everyone is vying to discover the hero's true identity.

The Scarlet Pimpernel depends much on illusion and is a master of disguise. There is little doubt that the author is a master storyteller and the tension is successfully sustained till the climax of the story is reached in the final pages of the book. The background is historical and very complex in nature but it has been successfully used to weave an enthralling adventure story. It is a fantastic story written along the styles of Alexandre Dumas and won't disappoint the adventure seeker in you.

 

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