I know what you are thinking: another classic, woman? Where are the Sci-Fi and Fantasy? Well, I’ve heard this book called the first in the “superhero” genre (sorry, Superman) so does that count?
Honestly, I’ve been reading a ton of writing craft and writing business books this month. And I figured you wouldn’t want to hear about those. That and...this book is pretty amazing. I have one more confession. I didn’t actually read this book per say. I listened to the audiobook by DBS audiobooks on Spotify. Totally free, Yay! The narrator was not listed, but she did an amazing job, particularly with the subtle French accents for a few of the characters.
I’m a history nerd, and I am in love with this era in particular. The religious, cultural and political upheaval of the renaissance era, especially in France, really grab my attention. All of Europe was in a tremendous amount of upheaval.
Baroness Orczy, who wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel, did an amazing job conveying the tone of the time. With incredible skill and gorgeous language, she tells of political turmoil, heartbreak, broken families, and the hero that rises in it all.
There are few things that might offend the modern sensibilities. Especially the language used in regards to women, Jews, and the poor. However, whenever you pick up a classic, you have to accept that it is a product of its time and culture and it will not align with your viewpoints per say. I don’t feel like that takes anything away from the story.
The Scarlet Pimpernel follows most closely the Lady Marguerite Blakeney as she struggles to make difficult choices and deals with the consequences. One of those choices that is not the most difficult, but far, but is one of the central, is her decision on whether or not to trust her husband, Sir Percy Blakeney.
Thanks to a misunderstanding, Percy and Marguerite are estranged and when a trial comes into Marguerite’s life she struggles with her decision of whether or not she should trust the husband that she views as frivolous and stupid.
Through the novel, we find that Marguerite misjudged her husband, as he did her, and he is after all very clever and capable.
So often, I do the same thing in my life. I make snap judgements, have unrealistic expectations, and sometimes I believe lies based on poor information. In the days of the internet, where we can get snatches of information or even straight up lies, this is more common than anything. We have to have an opinion on everything and demonize anyone who doesn’t agree. Sometimes the distrust we employ to keep ourselves safe is the very thing that will do the most damage to us.
What are some things you had a wrong opinion of and how did changing your opinion on that impact your life positively?