Saturday, May 7, 2011

Too Old For Beauty: The Scarlet Pimpernel

This lush and romantic tale of the French Revolution by the Baroness Orczy has the lovely Marguerite watch helplessly while the dashing and clever Scarlet Pimpernel battles the diabolical M. Chauvelin for the lives of French aristocrats in the path of the guillotine juggernaut.  It has vast sweeps of emotion, true love battling pride, sisterly love opposing romance, and I can see myself eating it with a spoon only a decade or so ago.  Alas, though I enjoy it still for the sake of past-me, I can't quite get caught up in the whirlwind anymore.  Cranky current self finds these kids just a wee bit too emo for comfort; when Blakely kisses the steps Marguerite just walked on, instead of sighing tragically I wonder how clean the stairs are.  When Marguerite realizes THE TRUTH too late and begins her frantic dash to join her beloved in danger, I find myself wondering what she hopes to accomplish.  As it turns out, she doesn't actually do anything, but does get kissed again much sooner than if she had waited at home, which old me would have considered sufficient reward.

I also wish that just once, even accidentally, she could have done something right. Or at least that the author had stopped assuring me that she was the wittiest woman in Europe as she wanders the countryside without a thought in her pretty but disheveled head.  But, ah, womanlike!, she never concerns herself with practicalities.

(The picture was taken by helen.2006 who posted it on flickr with a shared license. )

No comments: