My old mass market copy of this 19th-century French novel has been well-thumbed,
as it's been one of the books I've read regularly since adolescence. I pick
it up every time it's been long enough for me to forget exactly how things happen
in the plot.
Why do I re-read this book so much? Maybe it's the adventure, maybe it's the
romance, maybe it's the hairbreadth cleverly-devised, well-costumed escapes.
More likely it's because I like yelling at the main character, who
is incredibly dense. There's something deliciously frustrating about following Marguerite Blakeney,
the French actress turned British aristocrat as she struggles with the web she's
fallen into—troubles with the French revolution she's left behind, family
and marriage loyalty dilemmas, an
d of course, deciding whether to protect or
betray the Scarlet Pimpernel, a British hero who's been rescuing French aristocrats
in amazing ways.
But I don't want to give away the ending. You'll just have to read—and
perhaps re-read—the book for yourself to find out what happens and how.