Monday, April 03, 2006
"That demmed, elusive Pimpernel"
I will confess to having intended to read this for about, oh, five years or so. I will also confess to the sole reason for my reading intentions. I really liked the musical. Really. More than Rent. More than Les Miz. So much that when it came to town I saw it twice in one week. Had time permitted, I would have seen it three times. Yes, my desire to read this is entirely shallow and teen-like. Of course, for all the Austen fans out there, this bodes well, as my love of the new P&P movie is about the only thing that might convince me to pick up the book, despite my to-date inherent hate for Austen.
I was, therefore, very much amused to find actual lyrics within the text. However, you want to know what it was I read. Not more about my silly obsession with the musical...
1792. Madame la Guillotine is madly chopping away at the heads of the French aristocracy in the height of the French Revolution. Confounding the Reign of Terror is the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel whose mysterious nature resides with his ability to evade the most stringent security, rescue the doomed, and slip his calling card to the person of import, notifying him that the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel were at work.
No one but the merry band knows the identity of the meddlesome hero - unless of course, you've seen the musical. This creates fear and rampant superstition on the French side of the channel; great curiosity and speculation on the English side. Will he be unmasked? Will Lady Marguerite betray one to save another? Will our hero escape from the insidious Chauvelin?
I suppose that I was predisposed to either love this or hate it, but in all honesty, of the classics that I've enjoyed, this fits right in. It's adventure and romance. Miscommunication and misleading literature at it's finest. Even knowing the identity of the Pimpernel (and I suspect that it wouldn't be too hard to figure out, even if you didn't know going in) I was still turning the pages quickly to see exactly HOW it would all play out. I think that, eventually, I shall read the rest of the series. This was great fun. I may have to dig up one or five of the movie versions...