Saturday, July 14

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905)

1982 media tie-in edition
By Baroness Emmuska Orczy

This being "Bastille Day," and all that -- and blogger Supertradmum having brought the great 1982 TV adaptation with Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Ian McKellan to my attention via her own post -- I'm making my first "not-recently-read" blog post of a book.  
1908 edition
The Scarlet Pimpernel actually began as a stage play two years earlier, and the 1905 book was just the first of a whole series of novels, both prequel and sequel.  I read it first soon after seeing the aforementioned movie, on Hallmark Classics if I recall correctly, about thirty years ago, then again only a few short years ago.  It is, along with most of Baroness Orczy's novels (which I, sadly, have not read), available as a free download from Project Gutenberg.  It's well worth reading, if only as a progenitor of the genre of masked or disguised adventure heroes like Zorro, the Shadow, and Batman.  Of course, it's a great read in and of itself.


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