You Are What You Read: The Scarlet Pimpernel

With the internet pointing out that the first masked hero was written by a woman, I needed to pick up that book and read it.

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orzcy wasn’t an easy book to get into. The first chapter was okay, and the next few chapters were like trudging through molasses. Once the main heroine, Marguerite, took the point of view, I couldn’t put the book down.

What’s not to love about a woman described as “magnificent presence and regal figure”? Marguerite’s charisma fills every room she enters and hit you in the face. She is constantly asserting her intellect and strength while she is under pressure by Chauvelin to find and turn over the Scarlet Pimpernel to the French authorities.

Percy… Percy Percy Percy. The attraction he and Marguerite have towards each other is heartbreaking and fills me with glee. My favorite quote, one I hope have a Storiarts scarf, deals with their attraction:

[Marguerite] knew in a moment that for the past few months she had been mistaken: that this man who stood here before her, cold as a statue, when her musical voice struck upon his ear, loved her, as he had loved her a year ago: that his passion might have been dormant, but that it was there, as strong, as intense, as overwhelming, as when first her lips met his in one long, maddening kiss… Suddenly it seemed to her that the only happiness life could ever hold for her again would be in feeling that man’s kiss once more upon her lips. (126)


The book is a great read, but I’ll be honest–the movie is better. The movie (with a young Ian McKellen), helps the story flow by making the events linear rather than comments about the past. Anthony Andrews is amazing flipping between the disguises of Percy Blakeney. The first time I saw it, my idea of who Percy was changed into a clearer idea. Jane Seymour as Marguerite is gorgeous and smart–embellishing an already wonderful character. Nothing is added to the movie that isn’t some way in the book. It’s a great book-to-movie adaptation. 10/10 would recommend.

What book are you reading right now? Is there any book you can see yourself in? Comment below!!


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