Saturday, April 28, 2007


The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

Feb 5, 2007 ****What a delightful book. I've heard so much about the movie I haven't seen that I was glad for this opportunity to read the book. As I read it, I could see where so many stereotypes of our day originated with this book: the weak fop who is really a secret identity for the hero, the villain rubbing his bony cold fingers together as he contemplates his evil designs, the beautiful heroine who is intelligent and independent but really wants to be swept away by a strong man, and the unfortunate image of a money-grubbing Jew. So what if the language is a little melodramatic and the story a touch far-fetched. It just made the book that much funner to read. I loved how Orczy describes the effeminate Lord Percy and his long-suffering wife who considers him as a foolish pet, albeit a rich and incredibly handsome one. "Thus human beings judge of one another, superficially, casually, throwing contempt on one another, with but little reason and no charity." It is this misjudgment that is at the heart of "The Scarlet Pimpernel." Lord Percy and Marguerite really love each other but, because of their preconceived notions, all kinds of havoc is wreaked on their relationship. And Chauvelin is the perfect villain who gives "a weird chuckle, as he rubbed his bony, talon-like hands one against the other, with a gesture of fiendish satisfaction." He is truly an amoral creature devoted only to the Revolution and I enjoyed despising him immensely. I recommend this novel for when you're in the mood for a great swashbuckling tale, knowing that good triumphs over evil in the end.
Rating: 4.75
Posted by Framed at 7:12 PM

Literary Feline said...
Does this mean you are all finished with the Classics Challenge? Way to go! It sounds as if you ended on a high note too!
8:04 PM
Alyson said...
I really enjoyed this book as well. I've seen the movie, and it is so good it's one of the reasons I picked it for the classics challenge. The movies is excellent, and now that you've read the book, you should watch it!
9:26 PM
Cassie said...
I will definitely add this to my list if it's not already on my A.P. list. It sounds so fun. I love the movie.
8:31 AM
Framed said...
Feline, yes, one challenge down and how many more to go??Alyson, I think I'll borrow your mom's someday.Cassie, you would love the book.
7:29 PM
Paula said...
I haven't read the book or seen the movie. You have just added it to my list. Sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the great review...
8:18 PM
Eva said...
Now I need to add this to my TBR list! Neat review. :)
3:17 PM
Jill said...
But Chauvelin was not really so very horrible -- just completely the political animal and devoted to the overthrow of the aristocracy. His means were dreadful, but his aims were not.Besides Ian McKellen played him wonderfully!
7:47 PM
booklogged said...
Congratulations on finishing the classics challenge. I own this book, so really should read it. Love the movie and would die to see the musical on Broadway. We three sisters should go someday.
9:20 PM
Framed said...
Book, we just need to pick a day. Is it still on Broadway or should we hope it comes to SLC soon?
7:13 PM
Bookfool said...
I loved the book, have seen a movie version (very old) and mini-series (with the Brideshead Revisited guy - Anthony something - loved both) and have a sequel to the book around here, somewhere. I was surprised at how funny the story could be, at times. Sink me, but it's a fine tale. :)

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