The Scarlet Pimpernel
The setting is during the French Revolution. A league of Englishmen has the French government befuddled because the league has rescued hundreds of aristocrats from certain death. The lovely Marguerite is a renown French actress who marries a very wealthy Englishman. The problem with Sir Percy is that he is a fop, and is typical of the leisure class of England. Percy is pretentious and not very serious about life or love. But Marguerite becomes enthralled with finding the identity of the "Scarlet Pimpernel" who leads the daring band of rescuers. The man that is obsessed with the capture of the Scarlet Pimpernel is Chauvelin, who matches wits with the allusive Englishman. This is a wonderful story of devotion to love and duty. Arguably, this novel has one of the most surprising endings of them all.