The Scarlet Pimpernel
So these boys were both published in the early 1900s. Scarlet Pimpernel came out in 1905. Captain Blood was released 1922.
Both were dandies. Both were incredibly clever. Both ignored the laws of their day and followed their own honor. (Though the Scarlet Pimpernel was far more “legal” than Captain Blood.) Both were rescuers of damsels and the such like. Both were intelligent and educated. Both were full of bravado. Both were adventurers. Both disregarded their own safety for the challenge at hand.
But who would you choose????
For me, it’s Captain Blood all the way. ALL THE WAY, BABY. Captain Blood, though educated as a doctor, becomes a traitor, a slave, and a pirate. Then a governor. But his piracy is never cruel and bloody. He, in fact, controls his pirates, and they let him because he leads them to victory time and again.
Sure, The Scarlet Pimpernel rescues, under the watch of all of Paris, people from the guillotine. Sure, he’s so smart that they can’t catch him. But man, Captain Blood makes enemies of England, France, and Spain and yet still maintains his honor, controls PIRATES, and becomes stupidly rich.
Oh, and he wins against all of those countries.
All of Them.
Plus, the pimpernel starts rich. He doesn’t make his riches. And, in the end, Captain Blood makes not just himself and his buccaneers rich–he gifts his new king with untold riches. That’s pretty amazing. But mostly, I like that he’s romantic, dashing, and the epitome of a hero.
The Pimpernel is no slouch and between him and normal dude, it’s Pimpernel all the way for me. But he kisses the floor where his lady walks. Captain Blood makes the floor bloody in rescuing her friend and then doesn’t need gratitude for it. You know? There’s just something about a hero who gets his hands dirty versus one who outsmarts the enemy. Especially when the dirty-handed hero is stupidly smart too.
Though mano ah mano? Captain Blood would totally win a fight, but it’d never take place. Captain Blood would show up and the Pimpernel would ride away laughing with the prize. Possibly, he’d be waving his handkerchief behind him.
Do I recommend Captain Blood? Um, yes. 5 full stars all the way. I’ll be getting the sequel, AND it may even reach my best books of 2013. So, yeah.
I liked it.