"The Scarlet Pimpernel" By Baroness Emma Orczy

1650 words - 7 pages

The historical novel entitled The Scarlet Pimpernel is a classic and truly deservesthis prestigious title. The author of this enthralling 267 page book is Baroness EmmaOrczy and it was published by Dodd, Mead & Company in the year 1964. The scene isset in the terrorized Paris of revolutionary France in the 1800's. During this timeperiod nobody was safe from the horrifying grasp of 'Madame la Guillotine' whichclaimed hundreds of lives every day. But a few brave men headed by a courageousperson known only as the anonymous Scarlet Pimpernel, helped the innocent escape fromtheir deaths. By use of trickery and deceit, these 20 men helped many endangeredaristocrats escape from France back to ...view middle of the document...

After discovering the true identity of theScarlet Pimpernel, Marguerite raced to France in hopes of undoing her grave mistakeand saving her husband who she knew was being hunted by Chauvelin. The suspensemounted as Marguerite felt the time ticking away in which her dear husband andbrother had to live. She secretly followed Chauvelin through the dark streets of Franceas he tracked down her husband. Chauvelin's soldiers were guided by a Jewish man to ahut where the Scarlet Pimpernel was thought to be hiding with Armand. However,Marguerite Blakeney was soon discovered by the soldiers. She was tied and gaggedalong with the Jewish man and the hut was searched for Armand and the other men, butthey had escaped. However, Chauvelin had found a small note in the corner of the hutwhich seemed to have been forgotten by them. It was written by the Scarlet Pimperneland had directions to the place where he was next headed. Leaving the weakMarguerite Blakeney and the Jewish man alone, Chauvelin and his soldiers marched offto the place described in the note. Little did they know that the Scarlet Pimpernel hadbeen with them the entire time, as the disguised Jewish man. Reunited at last, LadyBlakeney and her daring husband rekindled their love as they saw how their lives hadalmost been sacrificed for each other. They traveled back to the safety of Englandwhere they met Armand and the innocent ones who had escaped with him. As forChauvelin, his fate was not made very clear in the novel but it can be guessed that anappointment was arranged for him to meet 'Madame la Guillotine.'This novel seemed to be well written being filled with suspense, mystery, wit,romance, and a 'twist' at the end. The use of a few illustrations throughout the novelassisted in visually portraying the story. They gave flare to the vivid descriptions ofLady Marguerite Blakeney, the 'cleverest woman in Europe,' and depicted her husband'svalor. The sentence stating, 'her beauty was at its most dazzling stage. . .the sweetchildlike mouth, the straight chiselled nose, round chin, and delicate throat, all seemedset off by picturesque costume of the period,' is brought to life by these illustrations.The language in which this was written is also interesting. The book was obviouslywritten in the 18th century which is demonstrated by the sort of English used. Thecharacters seem to be very conservative, all the customs and polite airs are strictlyobeyed. A chapter did not seem to pass without someone's health being questioned, orLady Blakeney being politely greeted with a kiss upon her hand.The suspense in this novel also enhanced it's quality, enthralling the reader andholding their attention. A quote from one of the concluding chapters serves as anexample to the amount of suspense present. It states, 'Marguerite's breath stopped short;she seemed to feel her very life standing still momentarily whilst she listened to that voiceand to that song.' Marguerite's fear, frustration, and confusion is grasped...

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