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Castles in the Air

Castles in the Air by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
By: (1865-1947)

Baroness Emma Orczy (full name: Emma (”Emmuska”) Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála Orczy de Orczi) (September 23, 1865 – November 12, 1947) was a British novelist, playwright and artist of Hungarian noble origin. She was most notable for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Castles in the Air, a short novel or perhaps more like a collection of short stories with memories of a French rogue in the early 19th century Paris, was published in 1921 and about it I quote from the foreword: In very truth my good friend Ratichon is an unblushing liar, thief, a forger–anything you will; his vanity is past belief, his scruples are non-existent. How he escaped a convict settlement it is difficult to imagine, and hard to realize that he died–presumably some years after the event recorded in the last chapter of his autobiography–a respected member of the community, honoured by that same society which should have raised a punitive hand against him. (Summary by Wkipedia, Lars Rolander and Emma Orczy)

First Page:

FOREWORD

In presenting this engaging rogue to my readers, I feel that I owe them, if not an apology, at least an explanation for this attempt at enlisting sympathy in favour of a man who has little to recommend him save his own unconscious humour. In very truth my good friend Ratichon is an unblushing liar, thief, a forger anything you will; his vanity is past belief, his scruples are non existent. How he escaped a convict settlement it is difficult to imagine, and hard to realize that he died presumably some years after the event recorded in the last chapter of his autobiography a respected member of the community, honoured by that same society which should have raised a punitive hand against him. Yet this I believe to be the case. At any rate, in spite of close research in the police records of the period, I can find no mention of Hector Ratichon. "Heureux le peuple qui n'a pas d'histoire" applies, therefore, to him, and we must take it that Fate and his own sorely troubled country dealt lightly with him.

Which brings me back to my attempt at an explanation... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - April 6, 2015
Subject: castles in the air
Another highly enjoyable romp by Emma Orczy. Lars'es narration can take some time to get used to but on the whole is not bad.


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