Edmond Rostand: the author of Cyrano inspired by his wife Rosemonde Gérard

BIOGRAPHY EDMOND ROSTAND – Author of plays and poems, Edmond Rostand is known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac. His wife Rosemonde Gérard was a poet recognized for her great talent.

Short biography of Edmond Rostand – Born April 1, 1868 in Marseille, Edmond Rostand comes from the Marseille bourgeoisie. His father is an economist and his great-grandfather was mayor of the city. He went to Paris to pursue his studies in law, which led him to the bar. Edmond Rostand, however, never practiced as a lawyer, preferring to devote himself to his passion for literature. His literary career began with poetry. In 1890, two collections of poems were published, “The Musardises” and “Ode to music“. Edmond Rostand then decides to try his hand at writing plays. He writes the play “The Romantics“, which appeared on stage in 1894 and earned its author critical and public success. Edmond Rostand married the poet Rosemonde Gérard in 1890, with whom he had two sons, Maurice and John Rostand who also becomes a writer. During his lifetime, he was made Commander of the Legion of Honor and was elected to the French Academy on June 4, 1903. Edmond Rostand died on December 2, 1918 of the spanish fluhe is only 50 years old.

Edmond Rostand inspired by his wife

The author was deeply linked to Rosemonde Gérard at the end of the 1880s, whom he married in 1890. Rosemonde Gérard marked French poetry with her delicacy and her work was hailed by the critics of the time. In 1889, she published her most important collection, “Les Pipeaux”, which received the Academy Prize. His verses, devoted to love and the description of feelings, had a role in the work of Edmond Rostand, although it is not known to what extent the work of Rosemonde Gérard could have had an influence on his literary work. . Here is an example of an extract from the ‘Last Rendez-vous’, poem by Rosemonde Gérard for “Les pipeaux”.

And of this dear love that passes like a dream,
I want to keep everything in the bottom of my heart,
Retain if possible the impression too brief
To relish it later slowly.
I bury everything that comes from him like a miser,
Hoarding earnestly for my old age;
I will be rich then with a rare richness
I will have kept all the gold of my young loves!
So of this past of happiness which is coming to an end,
My memory will sometimes restore me to sweetness;
And of this dear love that passes like a dream
I will have kept everything in the bottom of my heart.

It is with the performance of his new piece entitled “Cyrano de Bergerac” that Edmond Rostand rose to fame at the age of 29. Other plays (“L’Aiglon” in particular) and books of poetry follow. However, it is the unfortunate story of Cyrano, afflicted with a prominent nasal appendage, and his impossible love for his cousin, the beautiful Roxane, which make the author a key figure in French literature. Cyrano becomes, like Hamlet among the English, the representative of the french spirit. The dignity of the country, tainted by the capture of Alsace and Lorraine, rises in the face of the elegance of Cyrano, honorable even in the most difficult moments. With a studied grandiloquence, the theater of Edmond Rostand, skillfully mixing virtuosity of the verb and twirling panache, is above all the reincarnation of a certain flamboyant romanticism in the face of the symbolist and naturalist canons highlighted at the end of the 19th century. The play was a success that has not been denied since, as proved by the multi-caesarized adaptation (1990) by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, with a Gérard Depardieu more than talkative who gave it his heart’s content.

  • “Two novelists from Provence, Honoré d’Urfé, Émile Zola, the sentimental novel and the naturalist novel” and “Le Gant rouge” (1888)
  • “Les Musardises” and “Ode to music” (1890)
  • “The Romantics” (1894)
  • “The Distant Princess” (1895)
  • “La Samaritaine” and “Cyrano de Bergerac” (1897)
  • “The Eaglet” (1900)
  • “Chantecler” (1910)
  • “The Last Night of Don Juan” (1911)
  • “The Flight of the Marseillaise” (1915)

Edmond Rostand: key dates

April 1, 1868: Birth of Edmond Rostand
The French poet and playwright Edmond Rostand was born in Marseille. His plays, “L’Aiglon” (1900), “Chantecler” (1908), but especially “Cyrano de Bergerac” (1897), immediately enjoyed immense popular enthusiasm.
December 28, 1898: Premiere of Cyrano de Bergerac
Edmond Rostand triumphs at the Porte Saint-Martin theater in Paris during the first performance of his comedy in 5 acts, “Cyrano de Bergerac”. The public particularly appreciates the romanticism of the play, which contrasts with the strict realistic conventions. The author returned to success in 1900 with “L’Aiglon”.
December 2, 1918: Death of Edmond Rostand
Born in Marseilles, the April 1st 1868, and died on December 2, 1918, in Paris, Edmond Rostand is a playwright. He is notably the author of the play “Le gant rouge” and of a manuscript of poems “Les musardises”. He studied law but devoted his life to poetry. He is also the father of Jean Rostand, a great biologist. He succumbed to the Spanish flu.

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Edmond Rostand: the author of Cyrano inspired by his wife Rosemonde Gérard

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