Rostand, Edmond (ĕdmôNˈ rôstäNˈ) [key], 1868–1918, French poet and dramatist. In 1890 appeared his first volume of verse, Les Musardises. His first plays were light, fanciful, and charmingly poetic, though of slight substance— Les Romanesques (1894, tr., The Romancers, 1899); La Princesse lointaine (1895, tr. The Princess Faraway, 1899), written for Sarah Bernhardt; and La Samaritaine (1897, tr. The Woman of Samaria, from his Plays, 1921). They were followed by Cyrano de Bergerac (1897, tr. 1923), a tour de force of dramatic poetry. The role of Cyrano was made memorable by the acting of Coquelin aîné, Richard Mansfield, and, on the screen (1950), Jose Ferrer. In 1900 Rostand wrote L'Aiglon, whose central figure is the pathetic duke of Reichstadt (Napoleon II), a role long played by Sarah Bernhardt. His barnyard fable Chantecler (1910) was played in the United States by Maude Adams.
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