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Scarlet Pimpernel is an enigmatic leader of a secret league composed of 20 English aristocrats.  He is, taking away the disguise, a baronet in England, named Sir Percy Blakeney, married to a beautiful Frenchwoman named Marguerite St. Just.  He spearheaded the “League of the Scarlet Pimpernel” while disguised as an obtuse-minded yet wealthy man who has an extreme interest in his personal appearance and clothing.  He is a hero of the oppressed French aristocrats whose lives were constantly threatened and subjected to execution by being sent to the guillotine.  His main enemy is Citizen Chauvelin, a new French envoy to England, who deviously blackmailed the hero’s wife for help in uncovering the true identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel in exchange for the life of his wife’s brother Armand. 

Plot-wise, the hero created his own character in this adventure novel.  Noone coerced him to be such or cunningly created him (like in several comic hero stories), save for the pervading tyranny in his time.  Authorship-wise, he was created by Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála “Emmuska” Orczy de Orczi, who was not only a British novelist but a notable playwright and visual artist (painter) as well.  This novel entitled with the same name as the hero is set in 1792, at the onset of the French Revolution.

The character’s weakness as a baronet is his natural flair for being a dandy, as his wife early noticed.  His weakness as a hero is his disability to reveal his other, real self to his beloved wife, which led to the twist in the story.

If we may call charisma to bring staunch Englishmen to be daring in their advocacy to stop the French tyranny, and the bold commitment to two largely different characters while keeping mum about it from his wife and yet triumphing to keep their marriage, as powers, then those are the Scarlet Pimpernel’s powers.

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