The Scarlet Pimpernel

Historical allusions

As a writer, Orczy often alluded to historical events and figures but adapted these freely in creating her tales.

Citizen Chauvelin, the recurring villain of the Scarlet Pimpernel series, is based to some extent on the real-life Bernard-François, marquis de Chauvelin, who survived the Revolutionary period to serve as an official under Napoleon I of France. He was a noted liberal Deputy under the Bourbon Restoration.

Other real life historical figures who appear in Orczy's Pimpernel series include:

  • Maximilien Robespierre
  • Louis de Saint-Just
  • Jean-Lambert Tallien
  • Thérésa Cabarrus
  • Georges Danton
  • François Chabot
  • Fabre d'Églantine
  • Claude Bazire
  • Baron Jean de Batz
  • Jean-Paul Marat
  • Paul Barras
  • Georges Couthon
  • Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac
  • Éléonore Duplay

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