January 8, 2011
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Classic Novel and A&E Miniseries
Simply brilliant. Two words that sum up the novel. I cannot believe it has taken me so long to read this classic novel but it was absolutely wonderful. The only thing wrong with the novel is that it was too darn short! I mourned the ending of the adventure. There are sequels (and prequels) to the original story but I am content to have read just The Scarlet Pimpernel and no farther, which I will explain why in a bit more detail below.
Orczy was brilliant at characterization...contrasting mannerisms and speech of characters from different strata of society in England and in France. The adventure is taut and rollicking and the longings of Percy and Marguerite wrap around your heart. Though short in length, the book has many nuances of emotion and thoughts by the characters, adding dimension to the story that is lacking in the film versions. For instance, in film versions it never comes across that Marguerite is an intellectual, as well as an actress, but that is how she is described by Baroness Orczy.
I have watched The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) many times, each time enjoying it as much as the first time. The 1934 version captures the intensity, fraught emotions and sweetness of love renewed imparted in the novel. So I highly recommend the novel by Baroness Orczy and The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) movie but only recommend the A&E TV miniseries (1999) version for those you interested in another perspective of the French Revolution and a bit of adventure.
My Rating - Novel: 4.5
My Rating - A&E Miniseries: 3.0
Amazon.com This Amazon edition is enriched with notes and commentary.