A to Z Challenge: Fictional Favorites, Day 16

P is for — Sir Percy Blakeney, from Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel

I’m sure it’s obvious by now that I love adventure stories. The Scarlet Pimpernel is another exciting adventure set in England and France during the French Revolution. Many, many aristocrats — men, women, and children — have been sent to the guillotine, regardless of whether or not they’ve personally oppressed the poor. All French aristocrats are guilty in the eyes of the lower classes and must pay the price. Sir Percy Blakeney, an English nobleman and master of disguise, daringly rescues innocent people bound for the guillotine and smuggles them to safety in England. His calling card — the seal of a small, star-shaped, red flower: a scarlet pimpernel. Acting the brainless fop in public, he engages in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with the leaders of the Revolution who are determined to catch him.

I love the 1982 movie version with Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Ian McKellen (pre-Gandalf). Even though it’s a made-for-TV-movie, it’s a great swashbuckler with sword fights and daring escapes, beautiful costumes, and first-rate performances by the lead actors. I haven’t yet seen the 1934 movie with Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon, but I’ve read good things about it and have it high up on my to-be-watched list.



10 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: Fictional Favorites, Day 16

  1. The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my favourite books of all time. I first read it when I was 12, and our teacher asked us to select a book to read from a few choices. Most people avoided this one because it was the longest read, so of course I had to pick it up. 🙂 Then it turned out to be a fantastic adventure story. This one has a special place on my shelf. I just love how Sir Percy plays the fop! Lori, have you ever read Mara, Daughter of the Nile? If you like adventure stories you probably would enjoy this one a lot – romance and intrigue set in Ancient Egypt.


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