The Scarlet Pimpernel (1999) short review


This BBC miniseries stars Richard E. Grant as the title character and Elizabeth McGovern as his French-born wife.  Mildly entertaining but not overly so — I’ve heard the Jane Seymour film version is much better.  Grant has the necessary swashbuckly-ness required for the role, but there’s just something very small-scale about everything else.  The costumes are weird — most of the supporting characters are dressed very nicely (particularly Emilia Fox), but McGovern as the lead female is in REALLY badly fitted anglaise dresses, particularly around the weird necklines.  She does wear a really good redingote in the last episode, however.


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

One Response

  1. olsonmiki

    I never thought about it before, but I wonder how French refugees would have dressed. Given, every Frenchwoman I’ve ever met or seen could make a burlap bag look fashion-forward, but it’s not as if they had a lot of money. Any thoughts, please?