In the late 18th century, France was in the throes of the French Revolution. Of particular tumult during this conflict were the years known as the "Reign of Terror", a time in which a revolutionary tribunal executed thousands of French citizens. It is during the "Reign of Terror" in which Baroness Emmuska Orczy's "The Scarlet Pimpernel" is set. "The Scarlet Pimpernel" is the story of Sir Percy Blakeney, a chivalrous Englishman married to the beautiful French actress, Marguerite St. Just, with whom he pretends to be a slow-witted dandy. However this is but a ruse to hide his true identity as the Scarlet Pimpernel, who with his "League of the Scarlet Pimpernel", a secret society of English aristocrats, rescue French royalists before they can be marched atop the guillotine. Drawing his nickname from the small red flower he draws on his messages, the Scarlet Pimpernel is chased by the relentless French agent Citizen Armand Chauvelin as he tries to intervene in the madness of the "Reign of Terror". First published in 1905, "The Scarlet Pimpernel" is notable for its introduction to literature of a hero with a secret identity. This edition includes a biographical afterword.