The Scarlet Pimpernel

Anniversary Edition

By Emmuska Orczy, Baroness; Baroness Orczy; Orczy
Signet Book, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780451527622, 288pp.

Publication Date: May 8, 2000

List Price: $4.95*
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Description

This timeless novel of intrigue and romance is the adventure of one man's defiance in the face of authority. The rulers of the French Revolution are unable to discern the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, a man whose exploits are an embarrassment to the new regime. Is he an exiled French nobleman or an English lord? The only thing for certain is his calling card--the blood-red flower known as the Scarlet Pimpernel...




About the Author
Baroness Emmuska Orczy (1865-1947) was a British novelist, playwright and artist of Hungarian noble origin. She was most notable for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel. Some of her paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. In 1903, she and her husband wrote a play based on one of her short stories about an English aristocrat, Sir Percy Blakeney, Bart., who rescued French aristocrats from the French Revolution: The Scarlet Pimpernel. This theatrical success generated huge sales for the novel that followed. She went on to write over a dozen sequels featuring Sir Percy Blakeney, his family, and the other members of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, of which the first, I Will Repay (1906), was the most popular. The last Pimpernel book, Mam'zelle Guillotine, was published in 1940. None of her three subsequent plays matched the success of The Scarlet Pimpernel. She also wrote popular mystery fiction and many adventure romances. Her Lady Molly of Scotland Yard was an early example of a female detective as the main character. During the First World War, Baroness Orczy formed the Women of England's Active Service League, an unofficial organization aimed at the recruitment of male volunteers for active service. Her aim was to enlist 100,000 women who would pledge "to persuade every man I know to offer his service to his country." Some 20,000 women joined her organization.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.
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