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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Author Information

Edmond Rostand was born on April 1, 1868, in Marseilles in the South of France. His father was a rich political economist, a member of the Institute of France, and a poet. Edmond was nurtured, educated, and encouraged to do well by his successful family. In 1890, when he was twenty-two years old, he married Rosemond Gerard, a poet. For a wedding gift, he gives her a volume of his own poems.

Rostand developed an interest in drama at an early age. When he was only twenty-six years old, his first play was presented at the Comédie Française. It was a light romantic play called Les Romanesques (The Romantics). It was acclaimed as a work in the vein of Shakespeare and Alfred de Musset and won a prize from the French Academy. His fame was ensured a year later, for in 1895 his La Princesse Lointaine, a tragedy, was performed with Sarah Bernhardt in the leading role. Two years later, in 1897, both La Samaritaine and Cyrano de Bergerac were presented. Cyrano de Bergerac was immensely popular and played for over five hundred performances; it also won Rostand the award of the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. In 1900, at the age of thirty- three, he was elected to the French Academy, the youngest man who had ever received this honor. The same year Sarah Bernhardt played the heroine of his new play L'Aiglon, which was a great public success.


Because of ill health, Rostand left Paris after the production of L'Aiglon. He retired to Cambo, in the Basque country bordered by the Pyrannees. In 1910, he published his last major work, entitled Chantecler. When World War I broke out in 1914, Rostand volunteered, but was refused. He spent the next few years writing patriotic poetry. Rostand died in December of 1918 in Paris, at the age of fifty.

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