ISBN : 9780198791225
Is he in heaven?-Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel?
Sir Percy Blakeney lives a double life in the England of 1792: at home he is an idle fop and a leader of fashion, but in abroad he is the Scarlet Pimpernel, a master of disguise who saves aristocrats from the guillotine. When the revolutionary French state seeks to unmask him, Percy's estranged, independent wife, Marguerite, unwittingly sets their agent on her husband's track. Percy's escapades, and Marguerite's daring journey to France to save him from the guillotine, keep the reader turning the pages of Baroness Orczy's well-paced romantic adventure.
Written in just five weeks in 1903, Baroness Emma Orczy's bestseller has been the basis of multiple adaptations. Rooted in the upheaval of Orczy's Hungarian childhood, and in the anxious nationalism of turn-of-the-century Britain, the story of the Scarlet Pimpernel provided a blueprint not only for subsequent historical swashbucklers, but for superheroes from Zorro to Superman.
The edition places the book The Scarlet Pimpernel within the context of the elite and popular literature of the turn of the century. Orczy's novel is close in kin to such contemporary political thrillers as Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent (1907); tales that channelled contemporary concerns about refugees and enemies within.
Note on the Text
A Chronology of Baroness Orczy
THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
"Nicholas Daly's fine new edition traces the afterlife of the novel in the context of changing public interests, reflecting as it does the shifting definitions of national identity, of social class and of gender." - Dinah Birch, Times Literary Supplement
"[The] introduction is excellent... The Scarlet Pimpernel itself is worth a few hours of anyone's attention." - Hayley Anderton, Desperate Reader