The Scarlet Pimpernel

ISBN : 9780198791225

Emma Orczy; Nicholas Daly
272 ページ
130 x 196 mm
Oxford World's Classics
  • The first novel in a collection of historical fiction by Baroness Orczy set during the Reign of Terror
  • Introduction that locates Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel within the context of the elite and popular literature of the turn of the century
  • Based on the rare first edition 1905 text, provides biographical details about the novel's colourful author
  • Up-to-date bibliography and notes informed by the latest scholarship

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
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of  Baroness Orczy
Explanatory Notes


Emma Orczy
Edited by Nicholas Daly, Professor of Modern English and American Literature, at University College Dublin
Nicholas Daly is Professor of Modern English and American Literature at University College Dublin. He has also taught at Trinity College Dublin, Wesleyan University, and Dartmouth College. A member of the Royal Irish Academy, he serves on the advisory boards of the Journal of Victorian Culture, Novel, and the Irish University Review. His academic publications include the monographs Modernism, Romance, and the Fin de Siècle (CUP, 1999), Literature, Technology and Modernity (CUP, 2004), Sensation and Modernity in the 1860s (CUP, 2009), and The Demographic Imagination (CUP, 2015), and many articles on nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and culture.

"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