#37. The Scarlet Pimpernel

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"Do you think that Blakeney would leave Calais without having accomplished what he set out to do?"

"You mean ...?"

"There's the old Comte de Tournay ..."

"The Comte ...?" she murmured.

"And St. Just ... and others ..."

"My brother!" she said with a heart-broken sob of anguish. "Heaven help me, but I fear I had forgotten."

"Fugitives as they are, these men at this moment await with perfect confidence and unshaken faith the arrival of the Scarlet Pimpernel, who has pledged his honour to take them safely across the Channel."

Indeed, she had forgotten! With the sublime selfishness of a woman who loves with her whole heart, she had in the last twenty-four hours had no thought save for him. His precious, noble life, his danger--he, the loved one, the brave hero, he alone dwelt in her mind.

Author: Baroness Orczy

Synopsis: A young French actress has married an English baronet who is a mystery to her--the more so after he discovers she denounced an aristocratic family, unwittingly sending them to the Revolution's guillotine. A member of Robespierre's henchmen uses the jeopardy of her brother's life to blackmail her into spying for France. Her task is to help discover the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, a daring young man who with several assistants is smuggling members of the French aristocracy into England.

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My family saw several times, and owns, the Anthony Andrews/Jane Seymour movie based on this book and another Orczy novel (Eldorado). Jane Seymour's hair in this movie is beyond belief, but the story is lighthearted and fun. It was my favorite movie for awhile.

The book is likeable, an easy read, heroic and romantic and clean--and honestly a little over-the-top, but who cares? I've read it several times and can never put it down once I get going.

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