the main character in the adventure story The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905) by Baroness Orczy. The "Scarlet Pimpernel" is the name used by Sir Percy Blakeney, an Englishman who uses many clever disguises (=ways of changing your clothes and appearance so that people do not recognize you) in order to help French people from a high social class to escape from France, and from the possibility of having their heads cut off by the guillotine during the French Revolution. There is a well-known short poem about him, which begins with the words "They seek him here, they seek him there...", and is about how difficult it is to find the Scarlet Pimpernel.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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