The Scarlet Pimpernel is the first novel in a series of historical fiction by Baroness Orczy, The novel is set during the Reign of Terror following the fthe French Revolution. The title is the nom de guerre of its hero and protagonist, a chivalrous Englishman who rescues aristocrats before they are sent to the guillotine. Sir Percy Blakeney leads a double life: apparently nothing more than a wealthy fop, but in reality a formidable swordsman and a quick-thinking escape artist. The band of gentlemen who assist him are the only ones who know his secret identity. He is known by his symbol, a simple flower, the scarlet pimpernel. Opening at the New Theatre in London’s West End on January 5, 1905, the play became a favourite of British audiences, eventually playing more than 2,000 performances.