The Scarlet Pimpernel Review

Author: Baroness Orczy Publishing Date: 1905 Genre: Historical Fiction Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man reckl...

Author: Baroness Orczy
Publishing Date: 1905
Genre: Historical Fiction

Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down.

Rating: 5/5


For those who are fans of the classics, this book will be a wonderful read. For those who get a headache looking at anything that is not written in modern speech, this will be a harder read. However, if you're looking to expand your horizons, then this is definitely a good choice. The writing was witty, elegant, and interesting. As an avid reader of classics and someone relatively proficient in Middle English, it takes a lot to slow me down. Even then, I still thoroughly enjoy reading, so for me the old fashioned writing style was something that made me love the book even more, as I find it much more refreshing than the dull, simple writing often seen in modern fiction.  


This is one of the reasons why I give this book a 5/5. It's also one of the reasons that it's one of my all-time favourite books and why I can talk about it for hours on end. If you think that people like Katniss Everwhatever are "strong" female characters, then you need to re-evaluate your life. What makes someone strong? According to modern books like the Hunger Games, strength in adversity makes you strong. Well here's what's wrong with that-it doesnt set much of an example. You're telling teens that if they want to be strong, they need to suck it up and be tough. Fight for what you believe in yada yada. But what The Scarlet Pimpernel teaches is that strength comes from weakness. Strong females are, indeed, terrified. They don't know what they're doing and know they may very well die or get someone else killed. But they do it anyways, because it's right. They cry. They hide their feelings. They want help. But they make do without it. Marguerite is by far my favourite female character ever. That's right, ever. Just read the book and see for yourself. See what an amazing woman she is and what a sadly under acknowledged yet absolutely perfect role model. She's real.  She shows in perfect clarity all of the real issues that strong females face, and even though many of her problems are specific to her time and social status, they are still incredibly relatable. And as for the other characters-oh, they are so many. All have their merits, even the bad guys. Just like Marguerite, their strength as characters is how realistic they are. And of course there is our dear Pimpernel, the witty British hero. What isn't there to love about him? Nothing, because he too, is not perfect. And having flawed heroes is what every true reader dreams of. 


Okay, if I didn't get you with the fantastic characters, this has got to catch your interest. I mean, picture a more modern Robin Hood, but instead of stealing from the rich....he steals the rich. That's right. A mysterious and wonderfully clever man is smuggling Aristos out of France and safely to England where they can start new lives without fear of loosing their heads. If you're a history buff, you'll love this. If not, you'll still love it because come on, that's a damn interesting concept. And you'll love the creative ways in which he does it. Oh, he can't just waltz in and snatch them up. Maybe he could, but he doesn't. He comes up with the most hilariously elaborate plans that will leave you thinking those demmed French had it coming! 


Clearly I hold a high opinion of this book. It's everything you could possibly ask for in a book, and it's worth reading again and again. It's one of the few that I find myself flipping through occasionally, re-reading my favourite sections. Oh, and if you finish and wish it hadn't ended-don't worry! There's many more books following the exploits of our beloved Englishman! Even if you don't want to get into a new series, give this book a try. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

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