Thursday 18 May 2017

The Scarlet Pimpernel - A Book Review

Like most people I had heard of this book but I had never read it. It was published in 1905 and it was written by a Hungarian, Baroness Emmuska Orczy.

What I found unexpected was that nearly the entire story is told from a women's point of view, now of course the Scarlet Pimpernel is not a women. It would be like writing a book about Batman but not showing it from his perspective, but strangely it works. The Baroness wanted to tell a particular story but she still wrote it to her strengths. She was a women so she wrote from a women's perspective.

The story in brief and without revealing too much of the plot, is set during the French Revolution. The Scarlet Pimpernel is rescuing the condemned from the clutches of the revolution and certain death upon the guillotine. An agent of the French Government has been sent to England to find out who he is and trap him.

Why should Conservatives read it?

It is a story of good versus evil, a fantasy of fighting back against the terror of the French Revolution and it is strongly Monarchical in outlook. More a thriller than a swashbuckler but entertaining non the less. The most disappointing part of the book is that it is fiction!

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?

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  1. I agree with your assessment. Very good read with a different approach than "A Tale of Two Cities." Haven't read either in a while; have to revisit them soon.

  2. You should watch the movies, both the one from 1934 with Leslie Howard and the 1984 one with Anthony Andrews. They are also both better than the book:)
    I wrote about it here:

    It's one of my favourite stories.