The Elusive Pimpernel

The Elusive Pimpernel

by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

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Overview

Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála "Emmuska" Orczy de Orci (23 September 1865 – 12 November 1947) was a Hungarian-born British novelist and playwright. She is best known for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel, the alter ego of Sir Percy Blakeney, a wealthy English fop who turns into a quick-thinking escape artist in order to save ill-fated French royalty from "Madame Guillotine" during the French revolution.

Introducing the notion of a "hero with a secret identity" into popular culture, the Scarlet Pimpernel exhibits characteristics that would become standard superhero conventions, including the penchant for disguise, use of a signature weapon (sword), ability to out-think and outwit his adversaries, and a calling card (he leaves behind a scarlet pimpernel at each of his interventions). By drawing attention to his alter ego Blakeney he hides behind his public face as a slow thinking foppish playboy (like Bruce Wayne), and he also establishes a network of supporters, The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, that aid his endeavours.

Orczy went on to write over a dozen sequels featuring Sir Percy Blakeney, his family, and the other members of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, of which the first, I Will Repay (1906), was the most popular. The last Pimpernel book, Mam'zelle Guillotine, was published in 1940. None of her three subsequent plays matched the success of The Scarlet Pimpernel. She also wrote popular mystery fiction and many adventure romances. Her Lady Molly of Scotland Yard was an early example of a female detective as the main character. Other popular detective stories featured The Old Man in the Corner, a sleuth who chiefly used logic to solve crimes.

Orczy held strong political views. Orczy was a firm believer in the superiority of the aristocracy, as well as being a supporter of British imperialism and militarism. During the First World War, Orczy formed the Women of England's Active Service League, an unofficial organisation aimed at encouraging women to persuade men to volunteer for active service in the armed forces. Her aim was to enlist 100,000 women who would pledge "to persuade every man I know to offer his service to his country". Some 20,000 women joined her organisation. Orczy was also strongly opposed to the Soviet Union.

She died in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire on 12 November 1947. (wikipedia.org)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618958563
Publisher: Bibliotech Press
Publication date: 09/21/2019
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)

Table of Contents


I. Paris: 1793
II. A Retrospect
III. Ex-Ambassador Chauvelin
IV. The Richmond Gala
V. Sir Percy and His Lady
VI. For the Poor of Paris
VII. Premonition
VIII. The Invitation
IX. Demoiselle Candeille
X. Lady Blakeney's Rout
XI. The Challenge
XII. Time--Place--Conditions
XIII. Reflections
XIV. The Ruling Passion
XV. Farewell
XVI. The Passport
XVII. Boulogne
XVIII. No. 6
XIX. The Strength of the Weak
XX. Triumph
XXI. Suspense
XXII. Not Death
XXIII. The Hostage
XXIV. Colleagues
XXV. The Unexpected
XXVI. The Terms of the Bargain
XXVII. The Decision
XXVIII. The Midnight Watch
XXIX. The National Fête
XXX. The Procession
XXXI. Final Dispositions
XXXII. The Letter
XXXIII. The English Spy
XXXIV. The Angelus
XXXV. Marguerite

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The Elusive Pimpernel 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books i have ever read!!!!! It tells of the true devotion Sir Percy has for his wife. This is probably the best love story i have ever read. I would definately recommend this book to anyone who loves romance novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed throughout the whole story! I thought that it was so funny how the Scarlet Pimpernel acted. I've read practically the whole series of the Scarlet Pimpernel but none of them are as funny as this one. The whole series is well made, entertaining and fun, but not as funny as this one. Read it. You won't regret it.
Magdalena25 More than 1 year ago
Very romantic and intriguing. I had no idea how in the world the Pimpernel was going to get out of the web that Chauvelin set up for him, but of course he always outwits the ex-ambassador. I enjoy the Scarlet Pimpernel adventures very much and think that Baroness Orczy had such a wonderful imagination.
theokester More than 1 year ago
This is my second foray into Pimpernel literature. This is actually the third book chronologically. I'm not sure yet how episodic the story works out...this is evidently taking place after the first novel but I didn't feel like I missed out on anything by skipping the second book. It also didn't really feel like much would have been missed by skipping the first book (although the first did involve more character development of the core characters). I would recommend reading the first novel first, especially if you know nothing about the Pimpernel story, but I don't think it's vital. This Pimpernel adventure was a fun read and well worth reading. Orczy's writing style is fluid and easy to read and follow and her characters are vivid and interesting. The plot of this book was very intriguing. The Pimpernel is pitted against his enemy from the first novel, the French agent Chauvelin. Chauvelin has been given one final chance from Robespierre to catch the Pimpernell with the ultimatum that the world will either be rid of the Pimpernel or Chauvelin by the end of the adventure. The plot that Chauvelin comes up with to capture the Pimpernel is fairly diabolical and truly seems foolproof. It stands as evidence of Orczy's creative ingenuity and the fullness of her characters, especially as each intricate detail plays out. It exposes Chauvelin's arrogance and his prideful desire for personal and lasting vengeance. I was very satisfied with the machinations of the plot until I realized that the remaining pages were growing few and I began to anticipate a potentially dissatisfying ending. Upon finally reaching the climactic wrap up to the adventure, I admit to being somewhat disappointed in the way things played out. Though honestly, I expected an even worse ending based on how tightly she had tied the net around our hero. I saw little hope for an exciting and viable escape (and I doubt it's any spoiler to anyone that the hero had to escape). The solution provided wasn't entirely satisfactory in my mind, but it worked out well enough, especially considering the era in which the events took place. Before I wrap up this report, I want to comment on one of the things that this novel does that I especially enjoy. In many of the novels I've read, the central heroic character is very close to the reader. We are often either right on the shoulder or even within the head of our heroic protagonist. However, in the case of Pimpernel, Orczy plays with this concept and puts us inside the head of many of the peripheral characters, even some of the very minor characters, but never lets us truly get inside the mind of the titular hero. It reminds me vaguely of the way Conan Doyle keeps us from directly knowing the inner workings of Holmes' mind. In the same way, we find ourself aligned closely with Marguerite's fears and Chauvelin's scheming, but we never align ourselves directly with the heroic thoughts of the Pimpernel. This adds to the suspense in wondering just how he could possibly escape the tightly woven trap laid for him. I think I enjoyed this book better than the first Pimpernel story, but they were both a lot of fun. I hope to be able to track down more of them to read. They're a great bit of fun for any fan of historical adventure combined with a touch of humor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic! The perfect sequel to THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL! It has everything the first book contained: adventure, romance, wit, and suspense. If you enjoyed THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL at all, you should rad this sequel containing the same characters.
Unreachableshelf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun adventure, and if it's rather ironic that the woman known as the cleverest in Europe has absolutely no sense of when she's being played, at least the book finally acknowledged that.
AdonisGuilfoyle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This should be titled 'an interlude', as the real story is the powerful romance between Sir Percy and the ever impulsive Marguerite. Chauvelin sets a trap for the Pimpernel, or so he thinks, to even the score for the humiliation he suffered in Calais in The Scarlet Pimpernel; Percy takes the initiative and calls his arch-enemy's bluff, although his escape is a little flimsy (but for the convention of The Hero Always Triumphs, this should have been a victory for the sable-clad underdog). In the chapters with Marguerite, a prisoner of Chauvelin in Boulogne, the reader shares her thoughts and fears, as in The Scarlet Pimpernel, and so her very human behaviour is understandable; barring I Will Repay and Sir Percy Leads the Band, where Marguerite doesn't appear at all, this is the first sequel to consider how the Blakeneys are adjusting to their lives together after the clifftop reunion, and it does so very well. She has to learn to trust him, just as he begins to realise how vitally he loves and treasures his wife. Beautiful sentiment and subtle character development.
RogueBelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Overall, this novel pales compared to the original or El Dorado, but it definitely has some worthwhile moments. Marguerite's a bit dimmer than she ought to be, and we just plain don't get to see enough of Percy -- but Chauvelin steals the show. His ruthless plot is like a firework that just keeps exploding -- it gets worse, and worse, and worse as you read on. Elusive Pimpernel drives home Chauvelin's utter diabolical genius, and ultimately that proves the most entertaining part of the book. Worth a read for hardcore Pimpernel fans.
theokester on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my second foray into Pimpernel literature. This is actually the third book chronologically. I'm not sure yet how episodic the story works out...this is evidently taking place after the first novel but I didn't feel like I missed out on anything by skipping the second book. It also didn't really feel like much would have been missed by skipping the first book (although the first did involve more character development of the core characters). I would recommend reading the first novel first, especially if you know nothing about the Pimpernel story, but I don't think it's vital.This Pimpernel adventure was a fun read and well worth reading. Orczy's writing style is fluid and easy to read and follow and her characters are vivid and interesting. The plot of this book was very intriguing. The Pimpernel is pitted against his enemy from the first novel, the French agent Chauvelin. Chauvelin has been given one final chance from Robespierre to catch the Pimpernell with the ultimatum that the world will either be rid of the Pimpernel or Chauvelin by the end of the adventure. The plot that Chauvelin comes up with to capture the Pimpernel is fairly diabolical and truly seems full proof. It stands as evidence of Orczy's creative ingenuity and the fullness of her characters, especially as each intricate detail plays out. It exposes Chauvelin's arrogance and his prideful desire for personal and lasting vengeance. I was very satisfied with the machinations of the plot until I realized that the remaining pages were growing few and I began to anticipate a potentially dissatisfying ending.Upon finally reaching the climactic wrap up to the adventure, I admit to being somewhat disappointed in the way things played out. Though honestly, I expected an even worse ending based on how tightly she had tied the net around our hero. I saw little hope for an exciting and viable escape (and I doubt it's any spoiler to anyone that the hero had to escape). The solution provided wasn't entirely satisfactory in my mind, but it worked out well enough, especially considering the era in which the events took place.Before I wrap up this report, I want to comment on one of the things that this novel does that I especially enjoy. In many of the novels I've read, the central heroic character is very close to the reader. We are often either right on the shoulder or even within the head of our heroic protagonist. However, in the case of Pimpernel, Orczy plays with this concept and puts us inside the head of many of the peripheral characters, even some of the very minor characters, but never lets us truly get inside the mind of the titular hero. It reminds me vaguely of the way Conan Doyle keeps us from directly knowing the inner workings of Holmes' mind. In the same way, we find ourself aligned closely with Marguerite's fears and Chauvelin's scheming, but we never align ourselves directly with the heroic thoughts of the Pimpernel. This adds to the suspense in wondering just how he could possibly escape the tightly woven trap laid for him.I think I enjoyed this book better than the first Pimpernel story, but they were both a lot of fun. I hope to be able to track down more of them to read. They're a great bit of fun for any fan of historical adventure combined with a touch of humor.****4 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are so many "typo" errors that it is virtually unreadable! I know it's free but what good is any book that can't be read?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of the adventure and romance kept me on the edge of my seat duing the whole book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really romantic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. And since these (I got 4 Pimpernel stories) were free, it understandable that the quality would be poor. I don't think anyone bothered to check to see what kind of text they were getting when the books were scanned. I read all of I Will Repay, but reading is hardly how I would describe it. One must literally translate the words because the OCR did not work. It is very worth the 99 cents to get a clean copy.