Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Club: The Scarlet Pimpernel

If you've checked my blog this week, you may be confused by the date at the top of this post. But I've been busy, and it's my blog, so I make the rules. It was intended to be written on Monday, so I'm posting it as if it were. So there.

I have decided that I'm going to call one Book Club book per month, hopefully listed in the first week of the month. I will try to give about 2 weeks to allow readers to finish up, and I'll give an update if I find that it will be taking me longer than the 2 weeks so you aren't scrambling to finish. Except that you won't have to really. That's the beauty of online book clubs, you don't have to read the discussion post until you're good and ready.

This month I'd like to read The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. Want to know her full name? Ready? It is Baroness Emmuska Magdalena Rosalia Maria Josefa Barbara Orczy. Could you imagine filling out paper work requiring your 'full name'? What a mouthful! She was known as Emma as a young girl. Why Baroness? Her father was Baron Felix Orczy, a Hungarian aristocrat, a musician and composer.

A few fun facts: Orczy wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel in five weeks. When she couldn't find a publisher, she and her husband, Montagu Barstow, rewrote it as a play. The play was produced in 1903 and two years later she published the novel. I guess, for some people, you have to see it before you love it!

Orczy wrote more than 60 books, many of them detective and crime solving stories, and published her autobiography, Links in the Chain of Life, just before her death in 1947.

The Scarlet Pimpernel was a huge hit in both print and on stage, was made into a movie, and is still running on stages (usually as a musical) everywhere. (It is also available as an eBook!) I saw the musical version of the play at our local community theatre and LOVED it. We went on closing night, and I wished that we'd gone sooner because I wanted to see it again! It is a fabulous mystery full of silliness and fun. When my husband and I were shopping for books for Christmas, I saw this and said that we must have it (although mine isn't as pretty as the copy you see on my blog). I hope you enjoy reading it. I look forward to discussing this in a few weeks!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I adore the musical The Scarlet Pimpernel. In fact, Joe & I saw it at the Hale Theater when we were dating and recently saw it there again (the year before last, I think). but it was originally a novel, you say? I shall have to add this to my holds list at the library. Thanks!