Sunday, May 02, 2010

Reading Room

I'm having a wee bit of a Scarlet Pimpernel renaissance, spurred by the discovery of the 1999 A&E miniseries. "The Scarlet Pimpernel" is the swashbuckling tale of a foppish English aristocrat, who by day is the 1800s version of a metrosexual, and who by night is a Batman-esque hero who rescues French aristocrats from Mme La Guillotine. His wife, whom he doesn't trust, is a former French actress, Marguerite St. Just. He's also joined by a band of 19 gentlemen, including Marguerite's brother, Armand, who aid and abet his adventures which include near escapes, a duel or three, and cunning disguises.

While I find the 1982 movie with Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews to be much more enjoyable and witty, the miniseries has its own particular charm (though I think Elizabeth McGovern is a bit miscast as Marguerite) and is definitely worth watching. The miniseries as well as the 1982 movie is available on Netflix. I also found pretty much the entire 1982 movie on YouTube, broken in 15 or 16 10 minute clips.

I also found a treasure trove of e-texts here; not fanfiction, mind you, but actual written material from the author. Most of these texts were written quite early in the 1900s and I was unaware of just how much original source material existed for this original Batman. I'm looking forward to digging in and enjoying.

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