The King of France is attacked with a knife and Francois Damiens is arrested. He remains silent about the noblemen behind the plot, which was meant as a warning only for the King to change his ways. Damiens’ daughter, Gabrielle, sets out to confront those responsible. Blackmail is her intention. However, she becomes involved with the Viscomte Fernand along the way and ends up living in luxury, but loses all when he marries the King’s daughter and resorts once again to blackmail. She is imprisoned, but then released from the Bastille when it is stormed during the Revolution. Hungry for revenge, she becomes the only female executioner for the new Republic and is known as Mam’zelle Guillotine. Her chance for revenge on Fernard’s family finally arrives one day in Artois, but Citizen Chauvelin has sent an emissary from Paris, who turns out to be ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ in disguise.
Author biography:Baroness Orczy was born in Hungary in 1865, the daughter of Baron Felix Orczy, a landed aristocrat and well-known composer and conductor. Orczy moved with her parents from Budapest to Brussels and Paris, where she was educated. She studied art in London and exhibited work in the Royal Academy.
She married Montagu Barstow and together they worked as illustrators and jointly published an edition of Hungarian folk tales.
Orczy became famous in 1905 with the publication of The Scarlet Pimpernel (originally a play co-written with her husband). Its background was the French Revolution and its swashbuckling hero, Sir Percy Blakeney, was to prove immensely popular. Sequel books followed and film and TV versions were later made.
Orczy also wrote detective stories which still prove popular and are equally acclaimed within this genre.
She died in 1947.