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A band of titled Englishmen, led by the Scarlet Pimpernel, assists condemned aristocrats in their escape to England during the Reign of Terror.
Since its publication in 1905, The Scarlet Pimpernel has experienced global success, not only as a novel but in theatrical and film adaptations. Sally Dugan charts the history of Baroness Orczy's elusive hero, from the novel's origins through its continuing afterlife, including postmodern appropriations of the myth. Drawing on archival research in Britain, the United States and Australia, her study shows for the first time how Orczy's nationalistic superhero was originally conceived as an anarchist Pole plotting against Tsarist Russia, rather than a counter-revolutionary Englishman. Dugan explores the unique blend of anarchy, myth and magic that emerged from the story's astonishing and complex beginnings and analyses the enduring elements of the legend. To his creator, the Pimpernel was not simply a swashbuckling hero but an English gentleman spreading English values among benighted savages. Dugan investigates the mystery of why this imperialist crusader has not only survived the decline of the meta-narratives surrounding his birth, but also continues to enthrall a multinational audience. Offering readers insights into the Pimpernel's appearances in print, in film and on the stage, Dugan provides a nuanced picture of the trope of the Scarlet Pimpernel and an explanation of the phenomenon's durability.
A timeless novel of adventure, intrigue, and romance is sparked by one man's defiance in the face of authority... The year is 1792. The French Revolution, driven to excess by its own triumph, has turned into a reign of terror. Daily, tumbrels bearing new victims to the guillotine roll over the cobbled streets of Paris.… Thus the stage is set for one of the most enthralling novels of historical adventure ever written. The mysterious figure known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, sworn to rescue helpless men, women, and children from their doom; his implacable foe, the French agent Chauvelin, relentlessly hunting him down; and lovely Marguerite Blakeney, a beautiful French exile married to an English lord and caught in a terrible conflict of loyalties—all play their parts in a suspenseful tale that ranges from the squalid slums of Paris to the aristocratic salons of London, from intrigue on a great English country estate to the final denouement on the cliffs of the French coast. There have been many imitations of The Scarlet Pimpernel, but none has ever equaled its superb sense of color and drama and its irresistible gift of wonderfully romantic escape. With an Introduction by Gary Hoppenstand From the Paperback edition.
Adventure fiction is one of the easiest narrative forms to recognize but one of the hardest to define because of its overlap with many other genres. This collection of essays attempts to characterize adventure fiction through the exploration of key elements--such as larger-than-life characters and imperialistic ideas--in the genre's 19th- and 20th-century British and American works like The Scarlet Pimpernel by Orczy and Captain Blood by Sabatini. The author explores the cultural and literary impact of such works, presenting forgotten classics in a new light.
An apparent English dandy rescues noble Frenchmen from the guillotine under the name of the Scarlet Pimpernel.
A classic tale of the French Revolution and a heroic group of rescuers.

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