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'Pimpernel and Rosemary' is a novel by Baroness Emmuska Orzcy, originally published in 1924. It is set after the First World War and features Peter Blakeney, a descendant of the Scarlet Pimpernel.
The action is mainly set amongst the disaffected Hungarian nobility in Transylvania, allowing Orczy to draw on her knowledge of Hungarian history and politics.
Its 1922 and Rosemary Fowkes is the darling of London post-war society. One of those women on whom Nature seems to have showered every one of her most precious gifts. As well as being tall, graceful and beautiful, Rosemary is also highly intelligent and a talented political writer. She is the author of a series of articles on the evils of bureaucracy in the near East, which have been published in the International Review under the pseudonym Uno.
Peter Blakeney is the great, great grandson of the Scarlet Pimpernel, and the very image of his famous ancestor. A gifted sportsman educated at Eton and Oxford, Blakeney has rowed in the varsity eights, been awarded a VC in the war and is widely regarded as one of the finest cricketers England has ever produced.
Blakeney is deeply in love with Rosemary, and she with him, but owing to his foolish pride and ambition he has lost his chance to marry her. Reluctant to simply be known as the husband of a world-famous wife, he has put his career and determination to win fame and fortune in his own right, ahead of love -- and has driven her into the arms of his best friend, Lord Jasper Tarkington.
Tarkington, who was the correspondent for the Daily Post in Hungary in 1919, is still a young man, but rather conservative in his tastes. He worships Rosemary but whilst she sees him as gentle, impassive and wonderfully kind, he fails to arouse the same level of passion in her heart as Peter.
The day their engagement is announced, Peter meets Rosemary at the Five Arts Ball at the Albert Hall, after dancing with her he takes her to a secluded box and reveals his true feelings for her, yet she cannot bring herself to forgive him for the snub of the previous summer and insists that in six months time she will be Jasper Tarkingtons wife.
Watching the couple dance at the Ball, is the Roumanian diplomat, General Naniescu, the guest of Lady Orange. On hearing that the beautiful young woman is the author of the articles which have caused his government so much harm, he asks Lady Orange to arrange a meeting at which he proposes that Miss Fowkes should visit Translyvania and study the conditions now prevailing in the territory now occupied by Roumania at first hand. She will then publish her studies in the English and American press, without fear of censorship.
Rosemary is soon taken with the idea, but although Lord Tarkington has vowed not to get in the way of her journalistic efforts, he insists that she marries him immediately, so he can go with her and protect her as only as husband can. She agrees, and they are soon on their way to Translyvania, to stay with relations of Peters who she knows from earlier visits she took with Peters Hungarian mother.
On arriving in Cluj, she meets with Peters cousin Anna Hever, and discovers that Anna has been helping her cousin Philip Imrey to smuggle anti-government articles which he has written, out of the country and into the British press, where they have caused an outburst of sympathy for the Hungarians of Translyvania.
Rosemary realises that Anna and Philip are playing a dangerous game and promises to tell no-one of their secret, yet only days after she has arrived to stay at the Imreys house, Philip and Anna are arrested as traitors.
Rosemary meets with Naniescu to plead for the pair, but he tells her that the only way she can secure their freedom is to write articles for the British press, which put the Roumanian regime in Translyvania in a positive light, and which will undo some of the harm done by Philips reports. The duo will be temporarily freed for the month she has to write the articles. When they are published the duo will be allowed to leave the country but if she refuses they will be re-arrested and sentenced to death as traitors.
Meanwhile, Rosemary gets news that Peter Blakeney is in the country, allegedly to organise a cricket match between the Hungarians and Roumanians in Budapest. Jasper resolves to go to meet the Roumanian King and plead for leniency for Anna and Philip, but before he goes he tells Rosemary not to reveal anything of what has happened to Peter.
Rosemary is shocked that Jasper appears not to trust Blakeney, whom she has always considered the perfect English gentleman, yet when she speaks to Anna about how their activities could have been discovered, her suspicions are aroused when she finds out that the only other person Anna had told about the scheme was Peter.
Eventually Rosemary writes the arictles on the behest of her husband, but having consulted with Elza Imrey, who is not willing to pay such a price for the freedom of her son and niece, has agreed to destroy them. However, before she can do so, they are stolen by Blakeney who uses them to barter with Naniescu for the title deeds to the Imrey's chateaux.
Who is the mysterious "Number 10"?
Can Peter really be a spy in the employ of the Romanian government?
Why is Jasper suddenly acting so strange?
How can Rosemary stop the stolen articles from being published in the Times?
Category:Scarlet Pimpernel books
Category:Novels by Baroness Emma Orczy
Category:1922 in fiction
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