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The Scarlet Pimpernel | [Baroness Orczy]

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel hides the identity of a British nobleman who, masked by various disguises, leads a band of young men to undermine the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution. The Scarlet Pimpernel makes daring raid after daring raid into the heart of France to save aristocrats condemned to the guillotine. At each rescue, he leaves his calling card: a small, blood-red flower - a pimpernel - mocking the power of Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety.
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Publisher's Summary

Perhaps the most famous alias of all time, The Scarlet Pimpernel hides the identity of a British nobleman who, masked by various disguises, leads a band of young men to undermine the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution.

The Scarlet Pimpernel makes daring raid after daring raid into the heart of France to save aristocrats condemned to the guillotine. At each rescue, he leaves his calling card: a small, blood-red flower - a pimpernel - mocking the power of Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety.

Having been told that his own wife was an informer who delivered an aristocrat into the hands of the Committee, the Scarlet Pimpernel must keep his identity and work a secret while he struggles against the love he feels for her. Until the day her own brother is taken prisoner...

(P)2005 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Amazon Customer Utah 09-16-10
    Amazon Customer Utah 09-16-10 Member Since 2009

    tired teacher

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully Written Classic"

    Everyone should read this book at least once. It is an intriguing story based on real history. The narrator, Michael Page, is fabulous. I really enjoyed the story. It is a good love story with a great hero, actually more than one hero. Heroes are hard to come by these days, which makes this book all the better.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John APO, AE, USA 02-13-09
    John APO, AE, USA 02-13-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful"

    This book really pulled me in quickly. After the first few chapters I found myself drawn to it again and again. I burned through it relatively quickly. I found the theme to be quite serious though the presentation was spirited and humorous.

    An excellent read.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Radish Bliss STANSBURY PK, UT, United States 12-04-09
    Radish Bliss STANSBURY PK, UT, United States 12-04-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    83
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    46
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    "Fun"

    I love Michael Page's range of character voices. I think the story line has a lot of holes near the end, especially concerning the villain's judgment. But this is still a fun listen, enough to raise my curiosity on the sequel.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-29-09
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-29-09 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Hurra for this novel!"

    A classic superman tale of the mild mannered man who turns out to be the undefeatable hero!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    reebs SE WI, USA 09-11-13
    reebs SE WI, USA 09-11-13 Member Since 2012

    (obsess much?)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just fantastic!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Scarlet Pimpernel the most enjoyable?

    First of all, the story is riveting, even though I've seen the movie numerous times (the version with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour). I have loved these characters since I was little, and the original text grabbed me right away. Michael Page did a wonderful job with all the voices and accents, though I found myself reading half of it because I wanted to know what happened. I just realized now that I missed hearing the Jewish character toward the end of the book and I may have to go back and hear how he did it...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Percy...he's brilliant. I also love Marguerite. I wanted to smack them both a few times, for not trusting each other, but they are both so noble and brave. I love Percy's elaborate schemes.


    What does Michael Page bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    All the delightful voices! Especially Percy's foppish drawl...that was great.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I cried a little, a couple of times. :) Had to do with the relationship between Percy and Marguerite...


    Any additional comments?

    I will listen to this again. Kind of bummed that if I want to continue in chronological order (rather than order of publication), I can't listen to the next book, Sir Percy Leads the Band, because Audible doesn't have it. Guess I'll just have to read it...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Salem, OR, United States 09-20-12
    Beth Salem, OR, United States 09-20-12 Member Since 2010

    Love Sci Fi and Fantasy books since I was 8, starting reading A Princess of Mars series in Junior High School thanks to my Uncle Lester.

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    "Great Story and Performance."

    Wonderful performance and story ,with captivating characters and style. I can see why there was a movie based on this novel, and while the movie (old B & W) was excellent, the book was even better. Mr. Page did an excellent job on the narration and characters as well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mandi 05-12-12
    Mandi 05-12-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Great Book, Great Narrator, Great Listen"

    Any romantic can't help but love this tale. Spies, dandies, imminent death, what more could you want.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie S. New Hampshire 07-30-13
    Leslie S. New Hampshire 07-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fun listen"
    Would you listen to The Scarlet Pimpernel again? Why?

    yes, it is light listening for a car trip or the like


    What other book might you compare The Scarlet Pimpernel to and why?

    could put it with books like A Tale of Two Cities or the Count of Monte Cristo only because of the time period in France


    What about Michael Page’s performance did you like?

    Good ability to mimic the voices and accents!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    loved the beginning in the discussion of the French revolution


    Any additional comments?

    Have often seen the book and thought it would be too long or complicated a read-was glad I took the time to listen to it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Shields Marietta, GA, USA 06-10-14
    Adam Shields Marietta, GA, USA 06-10-14 Member Since 2003

    Book blogger at Bookwi.se

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Romantic Thriller set during the French Revolution"

    When I was an elementary student I had two ‘go to’ reading choices, a set of children’s biographies (more historical fiction than biography) and the Illustrated Classic series.

    The children’s biographies gave me a pretty good sense of history and historical figures (although probably 80 percent of each book was fiction.) And the Illustrated Classics gave me the rough outline of a number of classic books.

    But as I read many of those classics again as an adult I have a hard time remembering if I actually have read the full version or the children’s abridged versions prior to re-reading. (And there is often a pretty large difference.) Stories that I loved, I sometimes love even more reading the full original version. And sometimes my memory of the story is nothing like what the actual book is like.

    The Scarlet Pimpernel was written originally as a play in 1905 and then novelized. It is a swashbuckling novel of heroes and light romance. But in many ways reading it again it feels more like a 1940s pulp fiction than a classic.

    The hero (Sir Percy) is perceived as bumbling and slow (but very rich) by everyone, including his wife. In reality he is cunning and a great fighter. It feels like Zorro (but I looked it up and Zorro was written 14 years later.) That same secret identity idea really took off with the comic book superheroes.

    Marguerite St Just (Sir Percy’s wife) was a great actress in France prior to their marriage and married Sir Percy because she thought she could love the dim witted rich man because he would be devoted to her. But right after they are married Sir Percy find out that Marguerite’s testimony condemned the Marquis de St Cyr to death. And so Sir Percy is often distracted or away and he stops letting the marriage be more than part of his disguise. (Marguerite did not intend to give testimony, but both was tricked and hated the Marquis because the Marquis had had her brother beaten because of her brother’s romantic interest in the Marquis’ daughter.)

    From the beginning of the book the basic plot points are already set and the reader really knows what it going to happen. It is a fun little book and because the kindle edition is free and the audiobook was only $0.99 (and I used a coupon to make it free) it was worth the time to read and get the full version of the story.

    This is certainly not what I would call a great classic. But rather a reminder that all ages have had their popular fiction. And I did enjoy it as a swashbuckling popular fiction book. In many ways it channeled the best of the Three Musketeers and Andre Dumas.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-29-13
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-29-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A True Spy"

    A compelling tale of spies and counterspies during the French Revolution, who—enabled by the British—helped save aristocrats from the guillotine. The Scarlet Pimpernel may have been one of the first true undercover agents of the 19th century fooling everyone, including the reader. Well narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Brendan
    West Ealing, London, United Kingdom
    10/11/10
    Overall
    "Find the Pimpernel here! The best version!"

    An absolute classic novel given the audio treatment it deserves. Michael Page brings the Baroness' vision of Revolutionary France and the Pimpernel's adventures to life. Baroness Orczy practically kick started a genre that lives on in the style of the Sharpe or Hornblower novels.

    This is an all time classic that delivers on so many fronts be it a boys own adventure, a stuttering betrayal and rekindling of love to comedic moments.

    Michael Page's reading breathes life into the characters and places the listener inside the story. Who needs a full cast when a narrator can so skillfully define a character with a subtle variation in tone, pitch, accent or delivery without ever falling into the pitfalls others find.

    Will be looking for other Michael Page read audiobooks!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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