The Scarlet Pimpernel is an adventure novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution. The title character, Sir Percy Blakeney, represents the original "e;hero with a secret identity"e; that inspired subsequent literary creations. Sir Percy is a wealthy English baronet who rescues individuals sentenced to death in the guillotine. His acts of daring show him to be a master of disguise, an imaginative planner, a formidable swordsman and a quick-thinking escape artist. With each rescue he taunts his enemies by leaving behind a card showing a small flower--a scarlet pimpernel. The identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel thus becomes a topic of widespread popular interest and the hero himself becomes the subject of an international manhunt by the French revolutionary authorities.