World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Edmond Rostand

Article Id: WHEBN0000053506
Reproduction Date:

Title: Edmond Rostand  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cyrano de Bergerac (2008 film), Cyrano de Bergerac (1950 film), Cyrano (musical), The Truth About Cats & Dogs, Napoleon II
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Edmond Rostand

Edmond Rostand
Rostand in the uniform of the Académie française, 1905
Born Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand
(1868-04-01)1 April 1868
Marseille, France
Died 2 December 1918(1918-12-02) (aged 50)
Paris, France
Occupation Poet, playwright
Nationality French
Spouse Rosemonde Gérard
Child(ren) Jean Rostand
Maurice Rostand
Genre Neo Romanticism
Magnum opus Cyrano de Bergerac
Statue dedicated to Edmond Rostand in Cambo-les-Bains

Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand (French: ; 1 April 1868 – 2 December 1918) was a French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism, and is best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac. Rostand's romantic plays contrasted with the naturalistic theatre popular during the late nineteenth century. Another of Rostand's works, Les Romanesques, was adapted to the musical comedy, The Fantasticks.

Early life

Rostand was born in Marseille, France, into a wealthy and cultured Provençal family. His father was an economist and a poet who translated and edited the works of Catullus,[1] a member of the Marseille Academy and the Institut de France. Rostand studied literature, history, and philosophy at the Collège Stanislas in Paris, France.


When Rostand was twenty years old, his first play, a one-act comedy, Le Gant rouge, was performed at the Cluny Theatre, August 24, 1888, but it passed almost unnoticed.[1]

In 1890, Rostand published a volume of poems called Les Musardises.[2]

A burlesque, Les Romanesques was produced on 21 May 1894 at the Théâtre Français; it would be adapted in 1960 by [1] Bernhardt also was the original Photine of Rostand's La Samaritaine (Theatre de la Renaissance, 14 April 1897), a Biblical drama in three scenes taken from the gospel story of the woman of Samaria. While not a huge success, Rostand felt satisfied that he had proven to the public that he was something more than a writer of comedies.[1]

Edmond Rostand, aged 29, at the time of the first performance of Cyrano, 1898
The production of his heroic comedy of Cyrano de Bergerac (28 December 1897, Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin), with Benoît-Constant Coquelin in the title-role, was a triumph. The first production ran for over 300 consecutive nights.[1] No such enthusiasm for a drama in verse had been known since the days of Hugo's Hernani. The play was quickly translated into English, German, Russian and other European languages. For his hero he had drawn on French 17th-century history.

In L'Aiglon he chose a subject from Napoleonic history, suggested probably by Henri Welschinger's Roi de Rome, 1811–32 (1897), which contained much new information about the unhappy life of the Duke of Reichstadt, son of Napoleon I, and Marie Louise, under the surveillance of Metternich at the Schönbrunn Palace. L'Aiglon in six acts and in verse, was produced (15 March 1900) by Sarah Bernhardt at her own theatre, she herself undertaking the part of the Duke of Reichstadt.[3]

In 1902, Rostand became the youngest writer to be elected to the Académie française. He moved to Provence in 1903 and for the next seven years worked on his next play Chantecler.[2] Produced in February 1910, it was awaited with an interest, enhanced by considerable delay in the production, hardly equaled by the enthusiasm of its reception. Lucien Guitry was in the title role and Mme. Simone played the part of the pheasant, the play being a fantasy of bird and animal life, and the characters, denizens of the farmyard and the woods.

There were two unfinished and unpublished plays – Yorick and Les Petites Manies.[4]

Personal life

Rostand was married to the poet and playwright Rosemonde Etienette Gerard who, in 1890, published Les Pipeaux: a volume of verse crowned by the Academy. The couple had two sons, Jean and Maurice.

In the 1900s, Rostand came to live in the Villa Arnaga in Cambo-les-Bains in the French Basque Country looking for a cure for his pleurisy. The house is now a heritage site and a museum of Rostand's life and Basque architecture and crafts. Rostand died in 1918, a victim of the flu pandemic, and is buried in the Cimetière de Marseille.[3]


  • Le Gant rouge, 1888 (The Red Glove)
  • Les Musardises, 1890
  • Les Deux Pierrots, ou Le Souper blanc (The Two Pierrots, or The White Supper), 1891
  • Les Romanesques,[5][6] 1894 (basis for the 1960 off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks)
  • La Princesse lointaine (The Princess Far-Away),[7][8] 1895
  • La Samaritaine (The Woman of Samaria), 1897
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, 1897
  • L'Aiglon: A Play in Six Acts. 1900
  • Chantecler: A Play in Four Acts, 1910
  • La Dernière Nuit de Don Juan (The Last Night of Don Juan, in Poetic Drama), 1921
  • Le Cantique de L'Aile, 1922
  • Le Vol de la Marseillaise, 1922


  1. ^ a b c d e Essays on Modern DramatistsWilliam Lyon Phelps (1921) , Macmillan, New York
  2. ^ a b Annual Register for the Year 1918 (1919) Longmans, Green and Company, London - New York
  3. ^ a b "Feature: Edmond Rostand".  
  4. ^ Contemporary Authors Online (2003) Gale, Detroit
  5. ^ Les RomanesquesEdmond Rostand (1903) : comédie en trois actes, en vers (Google eBook) (French)
  6. ^ The RomancersEdmond Rostand (1915) : Comedy in Three Acts, translated by Barrett H. Clark, Samuel French (Google eBook)
  7. ^ La Princesse lointaineEdmond Rostand (1909) , Charpentier et Fasquelle, Paris (Google eBook) (French)
  8. ^ The Princess Far-awayEdmond Rostand (1921) : A Romantic Tragedy in Four Acts, translated by Anna Emilia Bagstad, R.G. Badger, Boston (Google eBook)


  • Edmond Rostand: Cyrano de Bergerac, Nick Hern Books, London, 1991. ISBN 978-1-85459-117-3
  • Henry James in vol. 84, pp. 477 seq. The Cornhill Magazine.
  • Marcel Migeo: Les Rostand, Paris, Stock, 1973. About Edmond, his wife Rosemonde, and their sons Jean and Maurice Rostand.

See also

External links

  • Brief biography of Rostand at Kirjasto (Pegasos)
  • La princesse lointaineFrench text of Rostand's
  • Works by Edmond Rostand at Project Gutenberg
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.