The Scarlet Pimpernal

We seek him here;

we seek him there;

those Frenchies seek him everywhere;

is he in heaven? Is he in hell?

that demmed elusive Pimpernal!

Reading The Scarlet Pimpernal again after so many years gave me the same thrill I experienced when I first read it as  an edited version in my tenth standard non-detailed class. And what a joyous experience it was!

The novel opened many doors for me. It made me decide to take up French as my second language in my High school. It created a desire in me to visit France. And the feeling of a ha when I read the exploits of the elusive Pimpernal.

Many of you would not have heard about Baroness Emmuska Orczy, the author of The Scarlet Pimpernal (or have you?) The rest may wikipedia her and get the details. This is a fine book and a compelling read which makes you yearn for more such adventures. The novel has the French revolution as its backdrop and how a band of daring Englishmen under the leadership of a a cunning plotter known as the scarlet pimpernel risk their necks in saving the aristocrats just for fun.

The original scarlet pimpernal, a small English wayward flower, after which the daring plotter takes his name:

It also has a fine love story or two in its backdrop and a devilish, equally cunning agent of the French roiyalists by name of Chauvelin.  His character is a perfect set to the plot and makes you read with excitement and with unhurried leisureness.

Do read and enjoy the book. It will be in your memory for a long time.


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