Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála "Emmuska" Orczy de Orczi (23 September 1865 – 12 November 1947) was a Hungarian-born British novelist, playwright and artist of noble origin. She is most known for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel. This is one of her novels.
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Sir Percy Blakenley, the Laughing Cavalier of Hals' fame, was a Dutch soldier of fortune until he discovered his rich English father. Although the Spanish are still threatening the Netherlands, Percy intends to retire to England and wealth with his beautiful Dutch bride, but treachery threatens his former friends and he must remain to finish the battle with them. This is actually a dandy story. It's written in Orczy's florid and romantic style, but the characters are interesting and I enjoyed it very much. Second of The Scarlet Pimpernel's prequels.more
The Baroness' usual blend of fact and fiction - the English priest brought in for the execution of Louis XVI is rescued by the League, and a tangle of love affairs lead to added complications for the Pimpernel. One of the 'traitor' stories - Percy, omniscient as he is, sees the betrayal coming, but is unbelievably patient and forgiving. He is described by the black sheep as an 'arrogant schoolmaster', which is about right. I enjoy reading about Percy and the League almost as much as I do Percy and Marguerite, and it's a mark of the Baroness' talent that both characters are effective and captivating as individual personalities, not merely a hero and his damsel or a heroine and her husband. Some secondary League members are featured - Jimmy 'Froggie' Holte, Tom Galveston, Everingham and Glynde, and of course St John Devinne; though not as deftly described as Percy or Chauvelin, the camaraderie between them is reassuring and fun at times. And poor old Chauvelin has a bad time of it in this adventure - I had visions of him spinning like a top in an effort to keep up with the Pimpernel, let alone one step ahead! Vastly entertaining.more