Would the novel have been more satisfying with a different ending?
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Chauvelin, the novel's chief villain, is a French agent who has English diplomacy rights. He is in England looking for the Pimpernel and anyone else who is attempting to rescue French aristocrats. His 'hard-hearted, vengeful' nature contrasts with the dashing Pimpernel. So Chauvelin personifies the forces that seek to destroy our protagonist. This becomes a "good" vs "evil" motif in which, if the protagonists triumphs, the antagonist must be vanquished.