- Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Signet; Reissue edition (May 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780451527622
- ISBN-13: 978-0451527622
- ASIN: 0451527623
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 891 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Scarlet Pimpernel (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2000
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“Arguably the best adventure story ever published and certainly the most influential that appeared during the early decades of the twentieth century.”—Gary Hoppenstand
From the Back Cover
The year is 1792. The French Revolution, driven to excess by its own triumph, has turned into a reign of terror. Daily, tumbrels roll over the cobbled streets of Paris bearing new victims to the insatiable Madame Guillotine.... Thus the stage is set for one of the most enthralling novels of historical adventure ever written.
The mysterious figure known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, sworn to rescue helpless men, women, and children from their doom; his implacable foe, the French agent Chauvelin, relentlessly hunting him down; and the lovely Lady Marguerite Blakeney, a beautiful French exile married to an English lord and caught in a terrible conflict of loyalties -- all play their parts in a suspenseful tale that ranges from the squalid slums of Paris to the aristocratic salons of London, from intrigue on a great English country estate to the final denouement on the cliffs of the French coast.
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The book was a little slow to get started while it spent time introducing the main characters in the story. There is a bit of a mystery as to the identity of The Scarlett Pimpernel, although it doesn’t take long to figure it out. From there, we learn about the daring exploits of 20 Englishmen noblemen – 19 followers and one mysterious leader – who set about the task of saving people from the guillotine by sneaking them out of France by any means possible. The mysterious leader, The Scarlett Pimpernel, gets his name from a piece of paper left behind whenever his band rescues someone, as the paper bears a small red flower found in England among other countries.
I enjoyed the book, as it lauded the efforts of men who did not stand idly by while others were in need. I also enjoyed the tension the author developed around Marguerite St. Just, a beautiful French actress, who married an English nobleman. Much of the story is told from her perspective to include events on in both France and England.
Get it, read it. You will not be disappointed if you have any romanticism and love of adventure in your heart.
Yes and yes. Once introduced to the enigmatic hero, the Scarlet Pimpernel, who uses his wits and a series of unique disguises to rescue French aristocrats from the guillotine, my students were, like me, hooked.
And what’s not to love? A broad pallet of well-developed characters, a classic, good-versus-evil mission, the pain of human weakness, and a subtle smattering of pleasing irony are satisfying at any age. With some well-chosen guide questions, this age group was able to unravel some of the causes and issues inherent in the French Revolution, explore themes such as deception, heroism, and the destructive nature of pride in relationships, and learn from the author’s use of setting and pace to advance her plot lines. As for the vocabulary, they washed it right down with a healthy dose of good, plain fun.
*History in a Hurry: French Revolution by John Farman" was what I read to supplement my lack of knowledge.