They seek him here...'The Scarlet Pimpernel' --the movie starring Leslie Howard as Sir Percy Blakeney, an 18th century English aristocrat who leads a double life, and Merle Oberon as Lady Blakeney. Leslie Howard portrays the 'undercover' English gentleman. It's a role that pioneers the use of a 'secret identity'.
They seek him there...
Those 'Frenchies' seek him everywhere;
Is he in heaven?
Is he in hell?
That damned elusive Pimpernel!
This novel depends on illusion but the hero depends far more on brains than brawn. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a master of disguise and misdirection, but he would rather take a beating (in order to escape his enemies) than deal one out. In the same way that the Scarlet Pimpernel tricks the doltish Frenchman, Orczy dupes us (her readers) with narrative tricks--designed to confuse and misdirect.Orczy is a master storyteller, sustaining the tension until we reaches the climax of the final pages. Then, it seems impossible that the Scarlet Pimpernel could escape. The scenes are drawn with large brush strokes, and many of the characters are drawn considerably larger than life.Orczy takes a large, complex historical background and reshapes it into a suitable background for a straightforward adventure story. The writing sometimes descends into melodrama, but the point of the novel is hardly its literary power. In The Scarlet Pimpernel, Orczy tells a fantastic story in a fascinating way, and we are drawn to the edge of our seats.The Scarlet Pimpernel is a classic adventure story and one of the first to employ the device of a central character with a secret identity, but this novel is also a fantastic read. The book is exciting. Always interesting. The Scarlet Pimpernel holds an appeal that is still enormously strong today.Enjoy!