The Scarlet Pimpernel

By Emmuska Orczy, Baroness; Anne Perry (Introduction by)
(Modern Library, Paperback, 9780812966114, 304pp.)

Publication Date: November 12, 2002

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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 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.

Anne Perry (b. 1938) is a bestselling author of historical detective fiction, most notably the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series and the William Monk series, both set in Victorian England. Her first book, "The Cater Street Hangman" (1979), launched both the Pitt series and her career as a premier writer of Victorian mysteries. Other novels in the series include "Resurrection Row", "Death in the Devil s Acre", and "Silence in Hanover Close", as well as more than twenty others. The William Monk series of novels, featuring a Victorian police officer turned private investigator, includes "Funeral in Blue", "The Twisted Root", and "The Silent Cry". In addition to these series, Perry is also author of the World War I novels "No Graves as Yet", "Shoulder the Sky", "Angels in the Gloom", and others, as well as several collections of short stories. Perry s novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world and she has over twenty-five million books in print worldwide. She lives in Scotland.
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