The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Read: July 14 - July 26
Format: E-Book 304 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Subject: freedom, French Revolution, Reign of Terror, corruption
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI, RTT
Category: Surprise - Books I find and want to read /group reads
I remember reading an abridged version of this book when I was about 10 or 11 years old because I liked the title, but I didn't remember the story at all so it was a delightful surprise adventure for me to the time of the Reign of Terror. I loved it and usually Classics are not my forte.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is an adventurer who risks his life to free the terrified royalists who are awaiting execution during the Reign of Terror. We hear of the exploits of this courageous man as he smuggles men, women, and children out of France before their date with guillotine. He is threatened with exposure and yet manages to continue his mission.
What surprised me most about this book is the story - not the main plot but the underlying tale of rescue of Frenchmen by a band of Englishmen. First, you have Englishmen trying to free Frenchmen which is unusual given the animosity between the two countries that had existed since the time of Henry V, then you have the fact that the English had tried 10 years earlier to prevent the Americans from freeing themselves from England, and last the Key point for me, was the major difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Seeing the violence of the French Revolution and the overthrow of the government as the chief point in that Revolution, makes me appreciate more the struggle that the American colonists undertook to gain their own freedom.