Friday, 12 May 2000

Baroness Orczy: The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1922)

Edition: Thames Publishing Co., 1960
Review number: 500

Though better than I Will Repay, The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel is far inferior to The Scarlet Pimpernel. The cloying romantic side of I Will Repay is omitted, yet the story is less interesting and less exciting than the first novel. Like the other Scarlet Pimpernel novels The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel presents a one sided view of revolutionary France, and here it is even less balanced than before. Almost every sentence is tinged with contempt for the poor of Paris, and those who ruled France are demonised to such an extent that it is difficult to see why anyone would have supported their rise to power. (However, to be fair to Orczy, there are many contemporary and near contemporary views of the Nazis or Saddam Hussein which equally remove any trace of humanity from them - people are more complicated than makes for simple stereotypes!) I would not want to condone their actions, but I do feel that no one can be pure evil.

No comments: