During the French Revolution in 1792 the Scarlet Pimpernel rescues aristocrats who were being sent to their deaths. During this time whole families are being sent to their death by guillotine. He has literally saved hundreds of lives. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a master of disguise and gets the families out posing as an old woman or a French military officer. He has even posed a Jewish man in order to pray on the racism of many of the French at this time.
Being one of the most wealthy men in England he is able to fund his rescues by paying people off and having the best equipment and horses of his day. This includes his fastest and best horse named Sultan and his Yacht called the Day Dreamer.
A few years prior to 1792 he meets and eventually marries Mrs. Marguerite St. Just. They are madly in love until he finds out that she had betrayed a aristocrat to the guillotine and his whole family shared his fate. As it turned out she was tricked into this situation but she would not admit that to her new husband. This created a rift in their marriage that would not be repaired until she is blackmailed into revealing who the Scarlet Pimpernel is. This she does without realizing her very husband is the Scarlet Pimpernel. His identity is reaveald but they are able to save four more aristocrats anyway and escape execution.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a public domain character. The original text was produced in both a play and a novel. The play came out slightly earlier than the novel but the novel is what became the big success for the character.
He and his wife are also part of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen of the 18th Century.