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The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Author(s) : Baroness Orcey

After the revolution in 1789, the aristocrats of France are being captured and sent to the guillotine to their death. Some nobles escape and reach safe shores.

Who is this dare-devil leading the aristocrats to safety? The sign of a scarlet pimpernel, or a small red flower is the only clue to the puzzle.

Set against the perilous background of the French Revolution, The Scarlet Pimpernel is the story of a daring, elusive Englishman—and how a mission nearly failed…

Book Details

Baroness Emmuska Orczy was born in Tarna Eors, Hungary, in 1865. The only child of Baron Felix Orczy, the noted composer and conductor of music, she was educated in Brussels and Paris. When her father was exiled in 1800 from Hungary she, along with her mother, was taken to London where the Baron eked out a living by teaching piano.

While she was studying art in London, she met her future husband, Montagu Barstow. Soon after their wedding, the couple shifted to the haven of artists, Paris, where they lived in the Bohemian Latin Quarter. Barstow did win some acclaim as an artist, and they returned to England in 1898. That year they attended a short story competition, and when the winning story was read out to the assembly, the Baroness remarked to her husband that she could write a better story! Thus was born the literary career of Baroness Orczy.

She became famous with the release of her first book, The Scarlet Pimpernel, in 1905. Sequels to the book, The Elusive Pimpernel (1908) and The Way of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1933) were not as successful. She also wrote detective stories, Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (1910) and Unravelled Knots (1925), but these never attained the success and popularity of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Baroness Orczy died on November 12, 1947.