The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel Cover

The Scarlet Pimpernel

By Baroness Crczy; Emmuska Orczy, Baroness; Baroness Orczy

Puffin Books, Paperback, 9780140374544, 336pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 1997

Description
The first and most successful in the Baroness's series of books that feature Percy Blakeney, who leads a double life as an English fop and a swashbuckling rescuer of aristocrats, "The Scarlet Pimpernel" was the blueprint for what became known as the masked-avenger genre. As Anne Perry writes in her Introduction, the novel has almost reached its first centenary, and it is as vivid and appealing as ever because the plotting is perfect. It is a classic example of how to construct, pace, and conclude a plot. . . . To rise on the crest of laughter without capsizing, to survive being written, rewritten, and reinterpreted by each generation, is the mark of a plot that is timeless and universal, even though it happens to be set in England and France of 1792.


About the Author




Baroness Orczy was born in Hungary in 1865, the daughter of Baron Felix Orczy, a landed aristocrat and well-known composer and conductor. Orczy moved with her parents from Budapest to Brussels and Paris, where she was educated. She studied art in London and exhibited work in the Royal Academy. She married Montagu Barstow and together they worked as illustrators and jointly published an edition of Hungarian folk tales. Orczy became famous in 1905 with the publication of The Scarlet Pimpernel (originally a play co-written with her husband). Its background was the French Revolution and its swashbuckling hero, Sir Percy Blakeney, was to prove immensely popular. Sequel books followed and film and TV versions were later made. Orczy also wrote detective stories which still prove popular and are equally acclaimed within this genre. She died in 1947.