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Orczy, Baroness

london percy pimpernel sir

(Hungarian/British, 1865–1947)

After spending her childhood chiefly in Paris and Brussels, at the age of 15 Orczy (real name, Mrs Montague Barstow) came to London, where she studied art. Her hugely successful The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905) has as its central character Sir Percy Blakeney, leader of a small group of Englishmen dedicated to rescuing victims of the Reign of Terror in revolutionary France. Sir Percy, who conceals his heroism beneath a foppish and indolent exterior, appears in various sequels, which include The Elusive Pimpernel (1908) and Child of the Revolution (1932). The Case of Miss Elliott (1905) and Unravelled Knots (1909) are among her numerous detective stories featuring ‘The Old Man in the Corner’, who conducts investigations from his habitual seat in a London teashop.

Anthony Hope, Georgette Heyer, Alexandre Dumas. See HISTORICAL, SPY  DH

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