Friday, June 20, 2008

Book review: The Laughing Cavalier by Baroness Orczy

The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my favorite movies. Since first watching it in the early 1980s I've watched two to three dozen times. I am working to indoctrinate my daughters. My oldest says she has seen it five time!

In the late 1980s I saw the play in London. They did a great job. I burst out laughing when they went in to rescue the prince and a game of rugby broke out.

Recently while reading at the Percival Blakeney Academy blog I realized that I had never read any of Baroness Orczy's books. In doing a bit of research I found there were a whole series of books on The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy.

I decided to start at the beginning, with The Laughing Cavalier. This is the story of one of Sir Percy Blakeney's ancestors. Diogenes, our hero, is an Englishman in Holland in 1623. He is asked to kidnap a young woman, who you soon realize will be his future wife.

There is a lot of intrigue against the Prince of Orange. The villain is planning an uprising. The woman's brother has been taken in by the villian. The brother is the one who hired the cavalier. It was kind of funny, later the father offers to pay Diogenes to find his daughter. And at one point the woman tries to pay Diogenes to warn the Prince of Orange. Diogenes declines the offer but still manages to warn the prince.

I enjoyed the story. It was pleasant, fast moving, and interesting. I enjoyed the historical background. The book was very descriptive in how people lived.

If you have enjoyed any of Baroness Orczy's stories, I'm sure you will enjoy "The Laughing Cavalier."

It is probably about time to watch the movie again!

Technorati tags: Scarlet Pimpernel, Laughing Cavalier, Baroness Orczy


Carrie said...

I did not know this! I feel cheated out of years of reading Baroness Orczy's other works! I must get busy!

Oooooh, thank you SO MUCH for your review! My reading life just got more interesting!

(I think I've seldom been as excited in reading a review as I am after having read yours.)

Sebastian said...

I'm so glad that my blog inspired you to read some of the Orczy novels. I've been working my way through the lot of them myself.
You might also enjoy the Dorothy Sayers Peter Whimsey novels. I think that Whimsey must have been a distant relation of the Blakeney family - there is a kinship of spirit.

Henry Cate said...

Carrie - I'm glad to help. I had never read any of Baroness Orczy's books before. I am looking forward to reading more of her books.

Sebastian - Oh great, another good author to check out! :-) So many books, so little time.