The Scarlet Pimpernel is set in 1792 during the French Revolution, but centres on an English hero performing great and brave deeds in a violent and murderous climate.
Marguerite St Just is a beautiful French actress, who is married to the English fop, Sir Percy Blakeney.
The couple have become estranged as Marguerite has tired of her husband's seemingly superficial lifestyle.
She has heard about the exploits of the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel - an unknown English man - who is daily helping French aristocrats to escape the Revolution.
She is captivated and entranced by the stories surrounding him, but is soon forced into a position where she must assist the French ambassador to England in capturing the elusive man. Orczy's novel unfolds with a series of twists and turns, with frequent moments of excitement and tension.