51cE+mYVrgL._SL500_From Goodreads: A brand-new, unabridged recording of Baroness Orczy’s classic tale of adventure, read by Julian Rhind-Tutt.
Paris, 1792. The Terror has begun. Every day, scores of the French nobility are delivered to the guillotine. Trapped in the capital, they have no way of escape.
But rumours abound of a league of young English gentlemen who are risking their lives to spirit French aristocrats away to safety across the Channel. Led by a man known only as the ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’, they leave no trace behind them save a single note.
Determined to stop them, ruthless spymaster Chauvelin travels to England and embarks on a quest to uncover the identity of their leader, forcing the Scarlet Pimpernel and his men to summon all their courage and wits to evade capture and stay alive

My Review

I enjoyed this audiobook, a story I’ve been meaning to read for years, having enjoyed the TV series with Richard E. Grant, and of course Carry on Don’t Lose Your Head.

It began really slowly and I almost gave up, until at last the mystery began and the pace quickened. It wasn’t the swashbuckling adventure I was expecting, but rather more of a slow story of cat and mouse and secret identity. It was actually first written as a play in 1903 by the author, who then due to it’s popularity turned it into a novel, which then became a series.

Whilst listening, I Googled the story to see if there was any truth to it, and discovered on Wikipedia something quite different to what I was expecting: “Orczy’s premise of a daring hero who cultivates a secret identity disguised by a meek or ineffectual manner proved enduring. Zorro, Doctor Syn, the Shadow, the Spider, the Phantom, Superman and Batman followed within a few decades, and the trope remains a popular one in serial fiction today. Read by Stan Lee as a boy, the Marvel co-creator called The Scarlet Pimpernel “the first character who could be called a superhero.”

Maybe next time I’m watching a Marvel film I’ll be thinking about the Scarlet Pimpernel! 😂

Julian Rhind-Tutt was superb at narrating, he brought the story and characters to life so perfectly, and has been added to my favourite narrators list.

I definitely recommend this on audio, especially if you find classic novels hard to get into.

Book 1/20