In the year 1792, Sir Percy and Lady Marguerite Blakeney are the darlings of British societyhe is known as one of the wealthiest men in England and a dimwit;she is French, a stunning former actress, and the cleverest woman in Europe?and they find themselves at the center of a deadly political intrigue. The Reign of Terror controls France, and every day aristocrats in Paris fall victim to Madame la Guillotine. Only one man can rescue themthe Scarlet Pimpernela master of disguises who leaves a calling card bearing only a signature red flower. As the fascinating connection between the Blakeneys and this mysterious hero is revealed, they are forced to choose between love and loyalty in order to avoid the French agent Chauvelin, who relentlessly hunts the Scarlet Pimpernel.
First published in 1905, The Scarlet Pimpernel
is the best-known novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
, a prolific author of popular fiction and plays. The novel pioneered the tale of the masked avenger and paved the way for such future enigmatic swashbucklers as Zorro, Superman, and the Lone Ranger. Repeatedly adapted for stage and screenmost recently as a successful Broadway musicalThe Scarlet Pimpernel
is a relevant and enormously entertaining tale of survival and pluck during times of widespread fear, hypocrisy, and corruption.
Includes 8 pieces of original art.
Sarah Juliette Sasson is a lecturer in the Department of French and Romance Philology at Columbia University and is the managing editor of theRomanic Review, a journal devoted to romance literatures. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Columbia. She specializes in nineteenth-century literature and particularly in the novel. She has published essays on Honor? de Balzac, Heinrich Heine, and on social mobility in nineteenth-century literature. Currently, she is working on a book on Balzac.