Well, Tuesday has come again and this one was a lot harder for me. Possibly because, although I know the story of TALE OF TWO CITIES well, I’ve never made it all the way through the book. (I did listen to the entire audio book, but I’m afraid I didn’t pay extremely close attention). It’s also been at least 9 years since I last visited the story, so it’s fairly wispy in my memory.
If you didn’t catch last week’s installment, you can find DJ’s post about the characters from A TALE OF TWO CITIES HERE. (Also, if you want to participate, use the linky list on that post, because…. like almost everything else on my site, the “update” left me Linky-List-Less…)
I may be going out on a limb with this one, folks. But to me, Lucie Manette in TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens just sort of reminds me, just a little bit, of Marguerite St. Just in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL by Baroness Orczy.
In both stories, these women are portrayed as beautiful, kind-hearted, and sort of the thread that weaves through the entire story and holds all the characters together. Lucie definitely does this more than Marguerite, but Marguerite does her fair share. Both women are loved by two very different men. And, of course, both stories take place during the French Revolution, so that may be the main reason these two characters resemble one another in my mind.
Truly, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL is one of my all-time favorite stories. Sir Percival Blakeney, the English aristocrat who plays the foppish, wealthy, buffoon so well, but is actually a keen, intelligent, witty, vigilante who rescues as many innocent victims from the guillotine as he possibly can. A master of disguise and sleight of hand, Percy predates other similar literary figures such as Zorro and Batman by 15-40 years respectively.
Also part of the cast of this marvelous story is Citizen Chauvelin, a by-the-book rule-follower who firmly believes in the righteousness of the Revolution and is a ruthless patriot with a serious lack of morals. He is a brilliant villain to Percy’s hero, as he is intelligent, cunning, and merciless. He is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to attain his goal of discovering the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, as well as stopping him and bringing him to “justice.”
Another notable character is Armand St. Just, Marguerite’s brother. Like his sister, Armand is a commoner who played a part in helping bring about the Revolution, but throughout the story he realizes that though the reasons for the Revolution may have been valid, the course that it has taken is morally reprehensible. He flees France and joins the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel and begins working against the Revolution.
Most of the rest of the characters have small roles in the story, though important ones. Sir Andrew Ffoulkes is the Scarlet Pimpernel’s right-hand man, and the one to whom Marguerite turns when she discovers that her husband is in danger. Steadfast and loyal, some people mistakenly believe that Sir Andrew is the Scarlet Pimpernel. Also, there is the Comtess de Tournay, who is rescued at the beginning of the novel. She despises Marguerite because she believes that Marguerite purposefully sent the Marquis do St. Cyr to the guillotine after he ordered her brother’s beating for Armand’s romantic interest in St. Cyr’s daughter. She is also in distress throughout most of the book because her husband was not rescued along with her, and she is worried about him.
This is one of those stories where I cannot decide between the movie and the book. Both are truly fantastic in their own ways, and both have poignant moments that take my breath away. I cannot choose between them, I love them both. If you are interested in hearing more about this story, I did write a movie review of it a while back HERE.
So, there’s your latest list of characters to choose from for next week’s SIX DEGREES OF KOOL BOOKS installment. I hope there’s enough there to go on! If you’re stumbling across this game for the first time and are wondering what in the world “SIX DEGREES OF KOOL BOOKS” is… or why I seem incapable of spelling “cool” correctly… here is the INFORMATIONAL POST about this little meme. It’s great fun, and I hope a few of you decide to join in the game! There’s no need to feel like you have to participate on a regular basis, and no need to start with this post – you can choose any of the SIX DEGREES posts to springboard off of, if you wish!
Please, though, if you do participate, please link back to my blog or DJ’s blog somewhere in your post! Thank you!
Also, don’t forget that tomorrow is the first Wednesday of the month, which means that it’s NIGHTSTAND BOOKS day!