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Topic: The Scarlet Pimpernel - Chapters 11-21

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Subject: The Scarlet Pimpernel - Chapters 11-21
Date Posted: 1/12/2009 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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now for the middle section 

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 1,899
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I really loved the scene at the ball.  Margurite's actions, I thought, wree comical when she tried to get the secret letter from Sir Andrew.  I felt that could be played both seriously, yet comical, if produced for the stage.  Later, when she finds out it was only her husband, asleep, in the dining room, I had to laugh.  Sometimes what is the most obvious can be staring at us in the face, yet we do not see it. 

I wonder, who could play the part of Sir Percy Blakeney if a stage/film production was done?  It would require the seriousness, yet goofballness, that would have to be believable. 

Any ideas?

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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When I was reading I kind of pictured Clive Owen, he's not as classically handsome as Percy is described as, but he can do both the badass and the goofiness.  Also I just love him.

Or, I just thought of Robert Downey Jr.  He'd be good too.

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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I was so surprised, reading this book, to realize that virtually the whole thing was going to be told from the point-of-view of the Pimpernel's wife. I was not expecting that at all, and I thought it was a unique way to tell the story.

However, although I liked hearing a female POV, it seemed like the character of the Pimpernel was very vague and hard to pin down. I know that's partly because she didn't realize who he was, but after she finds out, he still seems elusive. Marguerite was a much clearer character than either Sir Percy or the Pimpernel.

There is a film production of The Scarlet Pimpernel from the early 1980s that my mother-in-law just LOVES. It stars Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews. I don't think I've ever seen it, though. Looking at Netflix, it looks like A&E did a production about ten years ago, too.

I honestly don't know who I'd pick to play the Pimpernel, partly because he seemed so unclear to me. Hugh Grant could pull off the foppish part, but I don't really see him playing the heroic part.

Date Posted: 1/16/2009 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Janelle, I was a little surprised to find that the story was told from Marguerite’s POV as well. But it does fit well with the story since her actions impact the Scarlet Pimpernel so much.


One thing I noted in this second set of chapters is how often the author speaks of  Fate. I noticed it first in chapter 12 when I noted this sentence, “Fate is usually swift when she deals a blow.” This sentence occurred during the part where Marguerite observes Lord Hastings passing the scrap of paper to Sir Andrew.


Then, in chapter 16, this sentence, “How thoroughly a human being can be buffeted and overmastered by Fate, had been borne in upon her with appalling force.” This is written during their ride back home from the ball.


In chapter 19, “Surely Fate could not deal a blow like that: Nature itself would rise in revold: her hand, when it held that tiny scrap of paper last night, would surely have been struck dumb ere it committed a deed so appalling and so terrible.


Near the end of chapter 19, “And if he failed – if indeed Fate and Chauvelin, with all the resources at his command, proved too strong for the daring plotter after all – then at least she would be there by his side, to comfort , love cherish . . .


I just thought it interesting how often Orczy used Fate in difficult situations. Now I’ll be on the lookout for it in the last 10 chapters.


I have not seen a production of the book but I plan to watch look for a movie or a local theatre production.


Date Posted: 1/25/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2007
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I can totally see Clive Owen playing the part of Percy. I have also found it intriguing that the book is now from Margurite's POV. I was not expecting that at all.