10-23-2011 04:29 PM
Some interesting twists in the last half of the novel. Marguerite, who was the main point-of-view and action figure is reduced to a state of waiting. The point-of view has switched to that of a spectator in awe of the Pimpernel's/Percy's actions and devices. Marguerite now becomes the emotional guide. When she is afraid for Percy, the reader is afraid; when she is confident, the reader is confident.
There seems to be an overriding message to the nobles. Any of the nobility who behaved with arrogance were taught a lesson in humility by the end of the novel.
The character of the Scarlet Pimpernel doesn't seem to have much depth, other than by explanation of the narrator. The trick with the pepper was rather lame, but at the same time the reader knew that it would trigger Percy's escape.
All in all, it was a good story. The swashbuckling hero saves the day by snatching innocent lives from the madmen of the Reign of Terror. It's easy to see why this became a model for subsequent hidden-identity superheroes.
10-24-2011 09:39 PM
I've never seen any production of "The Scarlet Pimpernel" play, but I'm sure that the play utilizes a third-person POV. IMO, the book might have been even better if it had been written in an objective, third person voice. I found Marguerite's POV to be somewhat anachronistic. (And, per Wikipedia, critics of the time found the play to be antiquated too.)
Apparently, the play came first. IMO, it's evident that the book was written based upon a play as each chapter utilizes a specific setting amenable to a scene w/in a play. The play was not an instant success when it opened in 1903. Per Wikipedia, a producer of the play, named Terry Brook, had the last act re-written and reopened it at the New Theater in London on January 5, 1905. (See Wikipedia at The Scarlet Pimpernel.)
As I mentioned earlier, the critics considered the play to be too old fashioned even with its rewritten final scene, but the public embraced the play. Here's a 1905 image of the New Theater.
|New Theatre, postcard, circa 1905|
10-25-2011 12:02 AM
I have seen a production of the play, and most probably it was an adaptation and not the original script. But it was just like any other play, mostly dialogue and sets. Similar to watching any college performance of a Shakespeare play.
10-29-2011 10:02 PM
I haven't been able to keep up with the reading, but have enjoyed scanning your comments (I don't worry about spoilers, especially for classics. If I know the plot, I can read for the enjoyment of the writing rather than for the story.)
Thanks for your posts here.