|Roy De Rhome?|
|Numa Pompilius By Plutarch 1858 Paris, Very old book.
Online eText Edition: http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/numa_pom.html
From ERBzine 0010: "ERB read Greek and Roman mythology in his early days in school. There was an ancient Emperor of Rome, called Numa Pompilius. Or just plain "Numa." What easier, simpler, more appropriate thing to do than do take the name of this ancient Roman king, and give it to the King of beasts -- hence Numa the Lion."
Numa Pompilius: c. 700 BC second of the seven kings who, according to Roman tradition, ruled Rome before the founding of the Republic (c. 509 BC). Numa is said to have reigned from 715 to 673. He is credited with the formulation of the religious calendar and with the founding of Rome's other early religious institutions, including the Vestal Virgins; the cults of Mars, Jupiter, and Romulus deified (Quirinus);
POMPILIUS, second legendary king oi Rome (7 15 672 B.c.), was a Sabine,
a native of Cures, and his wife was the daughter of Titus Tat4us, the Sabine
colleague of Romulus. He was elected by the Roman people at the close of
a years interregnum, during which the sovereignty had been exercised by
the members of the senatein rotation. Nearly all the early religious institutions
of Rome were attributed to him. He set up the worhip of Terminus (the god
of landmarks), appointed the festival of Fides (Faith), built the temple
of Janus, reorganized the calendar and fixed days of business and holiday.
He instituted the flamens (sacred priests) of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus;
the virgins of Vesta, to keep the sacred fire burning on the hearth of
the city; the Salii, to guard the shield that fell from heaven; the pontifices
and augurs, to arrange the rites and interpret the will of the gods; he
also divided the handicraftsmen into nine gilds. He derived his inspiration
from his wife, the nymph Egeria, whom he used to meet by night in her sacred
grove. After a long and peaceful reign, during which the gates of Janus
were closed, Numa died and was succeeded by the warlike Tullus Hostilius.
Livy (xl. 29) tells a curious story of two stone chests, bearing inscriptions
in Greek and Latin, which were found at the foot of the Janiculum (181
B.C.), one purporting to contain the body of Numa and the other his books.
The first when opened was found to be empty, but the second contained fourteen
books relating to philosophy and pontifical law, which were publicly burned
as tending to undermine the established religion. No single legislator
can really be considered responsible for all the institutions ascribed
to Numa; they are essentially Italian, and older than Rome itself. Even
Roman tradition itself wavers; e.g. the fetiales are variously attributed
to Tullus Hostiius and Ancus Marcius. The supposed law-books, which were
to all appearance new when discovered, were clearly forgeries.
|Sax Rohmer ~ February 15, 1883-June 1, 1959|
Brood of the Witch Queen
Online eText: http://www.classicreader.com/booktoc.php/sid.1/bookid.1502/
Online eText: http://www.classicreader.com/booktoc.php/sid.1/bookid.681/
Tales of Chinatown
The Golden Scorpion 1920
The Hand of Fu Manchu ~ 1920 ~ A.L. Burt
The Fu Manchu Series: The infamously sinister Dr. Fu Manchu is pursued by the dauntless Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard and his loyal friend Dr. Petrie in 14 harrowing mysteries spanning 1913 to 1959 (#14 posthumously in 1976).
Novelist Sax Rohmer was born Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward in Birmingham, England on February 15, 1883, the son of Irish immigrant parents who moved to London in 1886. Little is known of his early life except that he had an ambition to serve in the Civil Service in the East. On failing the entrance examination he progressed from being a clerk to more literary pursuits, including writing for the music hall. His early success with short stories led to his writing The sins of Severac Babylon, a serial that appeared in Cassell’s Magazine in 1912 under his new pseudonym, Sax Rohmer. His early interest in Oriental mysticism was used in most of his subsequent work. Fu Manchu, his most memorable character, became very popular and appeared in fifteen books. The villain was the leader of a secret society at Limehouse, in the East End of London, and first appeared in The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu, serialized 1912-13 and published in book form a year later. Arthur Ward dabbled in further theatrical writing and adaptation but found that the niche he had created with exotic oriental thrillers was a winner and magazine serializations continued to appear until after World War II. When such publishing was on the wane, he moved to the USA, in 1947, where there were many more opportunities for radio and film work. A number of films were made featuring Dr. Fu Manchu. The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932), featuring Boris Karloff, was the best of those produced in the 1930s film. The name was revived in a very variable series starring Christopher Lee in the 1960s with The Face of Fu Manchu (1965), The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966), The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967), and The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968). He sold the media rights to Fu Manchu for four million dollars in 1955. Despite his success, he was never considered to be of significant literary importance. Although his writing shows imagination, the simple colourful style, the rather repetitive plots and the stylized characters led to his work being dismissed as second-rate. He died on June 1, 1959.
|William J. Rolfe|
|The Princess by Alfred Lord Tennyson Edited by William J. Rolfe
~ 1884 Houghton Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press
Online eText Edition: http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/other_gilbert/princess/
The Winter's tale
Antony and Cleopatra
Comedy of the Tempest
Merchant of Venice
Tragedy of Macbeth
Alfred Lord Tennyson was born August 6th, 1809, at Somersby, Lincolnshire, fourth of twelve children of George and Elizabeth (Fytche) Tennyson. The poet's grandfather had violated tradition by making his younger son, Charles, his heir, and arranging for the poet's father to enter the ministry. (See the Tennyson Family Tree.) The contrast of his own family's relatively straitened circumstances to the great wealth of his aunt Elizabeth Russell and uncle Charles Tennyson (who lived in castles!) made Tennyson feel particularly impoverished and led him to worry about money all his life. He also had a lifelong fear of mental illness, for several men in his family had a mild form of epilepsy, which was then thought a shameful disease. His father and brother Arthur made their cases worse by excessive drinking. His brother Edward had to be confined in a mental institution after 1833, and he himself spent a few weeks under doctors' care in 1843. In the late twenties his father's physical and mental condition worsened, and he became paranoid, abusive, and violent.
In 1827 Tennyson escaped the troubled atmosphere of his home when he followed his two older brothers to Trinity College, Cambridge, where his tutor was William Whewell -- see 19th century philosophy. Because they had published Poems by Two Brothers in 1827 and each won university prizes for poetry (Alfred winning the Chancellor's Gold Medal in 1828 for ÒTimbuctooÓ) the Tennyson brothers became well known at Cambridge. In 1829 The Apostles, an undergraduate club, whose members remained Tennyson's friends all his life, invited him to join. The group, which met to discuss major philosophical and other issues, included Arthur Henry Hallam, James Spedding, Edward Lushington (who later married Cecilia Tennyson), and Richard Monckton Milnes--all eventually famous men who merited entries in the Dictionary of National Biography.
Arthur Hallam's was the most important of these friendships. Hallam, another precociously brilliant Victorian young man like Robert Browning, John Stuart Mill, and Matthew Arnold, was uniformly recognized by his contemporaries (including William Gladstone, his best friend at Eton) as having unusual promise. He and Tennyson knew each other only four years, but their intense friendship had major influence on the poet. On a visit to Somersby, Hallam met and later became engaged to Emily Tennyson, and the two friends looked forward to a life-long companionship. Hallam's death from illness in 1833 (he was only 22) shocked Tennyson profoundly, and his grief lead to most of his best poetry, including In Memoriam , "The Passing of Arthur", ÒUlysses,Ó and ÒTithonus.Ó
Since Tennyson was always sensitive to criticism, the mixed reception of his 1832 Poems hurt him greatly. Critics in those days delighted in the harshness of their reviews: the Quarterly Review was known as the "Hang, draw, and quarterly." John Wilson Croker's harsh criticisms of some of the poems in our anthology kept Tennyson from publishing again for another nine years. Late in the 1830s Tennyson grew concerned about his mental health and visited a sanitarium run by Dr. Matthew Allen, with whom he later invested his inheritance (his grandfather had died in 1835) and some of his family's money. When Dr. Allen's scheme for mass-producing wood carvings using steam power went bankrupt, Tennyson, who did not have enough money to marry, ended his engagement to Emily Sellwood, whom he had met at his brother Charles's wedding to her sister Louisa.
The success of his 1842 Poems made Tennyson a popular poet, and in 1845 he received a Civil List (government) pension of £200 a year, which helped relieve his financial difficulties; the success of "The Princess" and In Memoriam and his appointment in 1850 as Poet Laureate finally established him as the most popular poet of the Victorian era. By now Tennyson, only 41, had written some of his greatest poetry, but he continued to write and to gain in popularity. In 1853, as the Tennysons were moving into their new house on the Isle of Wight, Prince Albert dropped in unannounced. His admiration for Tennyson's poetry helped solidify his position as the national poet, and Tennyson returned the favor by dedicating "The Idylls of the King" to his memory. Queen Victoria later summoned him to court several times, and at her insistence he accepted his title, having declined it when offered by both Disraeli and Gladstone.
Tennyson suffered from extreme short-sightedness--without a monocle he could not even see to eat--which gave him considerable difficulty writing and reading, and this disability in part accounts for his manner of creating poetry: Tennyson composed much of his poetry in his head, occasionally working on individual poems for many years. During his undergraduate days at Cambridge he often did not bother to write down his compositions, although the Apostles continually prodded him to do so. (We owe the first version of "The Lotos-Eaters" to Arthur Hallam, who transcribed it while Tennyson declaimed it at a meeting of the Apostles.)
Long-lived like most of his family (no matter how unhealthy they seemed to be) Alfred, Lord Tennyson died on October 6, 1892, at the age of 83
|In the Days Before Columbus
Plotting in Pirate Seas
|Anecdotal and Descriptive Natural History ~ 1880s?: NY/London:
Pott, Young and Co. ~. Illustrated with 16 color plates and numerous wood
Part One: Animals with 184 pages: Contents include: Ch. I: Introduction ~ Ch. II: The elephant.~ Ch. III: The Rhinoceros ~ Ch. IV: The Lion.~ Ch. V: The Puma, or American Lion.~ Ch. VI: The Tiger.~ Ch. VII: The Leopard and Panther, The Cheetah or Hunting Leopard, The Ounce, The Jaguar, The Ocelot. Ch. VIII; The Hyena, The Proteles, The Jackal, the zebra, the quagga.- IX, the ruminantia, the camel, the dromedary, the llama, the guanaco, the giraffe.- chap X, the quadrumana, the chimpanzee, the orang outan, the gorilla.- chap XI, the gibbons, the siamang, the agile gibbon, the ateles, the quata or coaita, the baboons, the common baboon, the chacma, the mandrill, the drill. chap XII, the buffalo, the yak, the bison, the musk ox.- chap XIII, the marsupialia, the kangaroo.- chap XIV, the bear, the brown bear, the black bear, the grisly bear, the polar bear, the malayan sun bear, the sloth bear, the apectacled bear.- chap XV, the wolf, the common fox, the american red fox, the tri coloured fox, the balck or silver fox.- chap XVI, the reindeer, the elk, the gnu, the nylghau, the ibex, the gems bok, the chamois, the gazelle. ~184 pages
Aquatic, Domestic and Minor Animals. with184 pages: Chap I, Aquatic
Animals.- chap II, the hippopotamus.- chap III, the walrus.- chap IV, the
seal, the common seal, the marbled seal, the greenland seal, the elephant
seal.- chap V, the beaver.- chapVI, the otter, the water rat, or vole,
the russian musk rat.- chap VII, the orinthorhynchus.- chap VIII, the dog.-
chap IX, the horse.- chap X, the ox.- chap XI, the sheep, the goat, the
cashmere goat, the wild boar, the hog, the babiroussa, the white lipped
peccary, the american tapir.- chap XII, the wild cat, the domestic cat,
the civet, the ichneumon, the polecat, the ferret, the weasel, the beech
marten, the pine marten, the sable, the stoat, or ermine, the skunk, the
racoon, the jerboa.- chap XIII, the hare, the rabbit, the squirrel, the
badger, the hedgehog, bats.- chap XIV, the aye aye, the sloth, the porcupine,
the blutton, the great ant eater, the armadillo, the opossum.- chap XV,
the wombat, the ashy koala, the echidna.
|A Trooper of the Empress ~ 1898 Appleton of NY
|Edmond Rostand ~ Edmond (Eugège Alexix) Rostand ~ Marseilles, France, 1869-Southern France, 1918|
|Cyrano de Bergerac. Translated by Helen B.
Dole. NY: T.Y. Crowell & Company, 1899.
Flyleaf inscription: “E.R. Burroughs, Chicago, January 17th, 1903.”
Synopsis and Download
Cyrano Chicago 1903: Ed's sig Pub 1899
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand on Project Gutenberg
Savien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655) French soldier, satirist, and dramatist, whose life has been the basis of many romantic but unhistorical legends. The best-known of them is Edmond Rostand's verse drama Cyrano de Bergerac (1897). Bergerac's major works were two posthumously published accounts of fantastic voyages, VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE (1657) and L'HISTOIRE DES ÉTATS ET EMPIRES DU SOLEIL (1662). According to Arhur C. Clarke, Cyrano must be credited both for first applying the rocket to space travel and, for inventing the ramjet.The real Cyrano de Bergerac had, in real life, very little in common with the hero of the Rostand play. He was born in Paris, and educated by a priest in the village of Bergerac. Later he was sent to the Collège de Beauvais. After acquiring fame as a dueller and Bohemian, he enlisted in the army at the age of 20. However, he was an individualist and had problems adjusting to discipline - Cyrano was an opponent of the war and death penalty. His humanitarian way of thinking was acknowledged by his contemporaries and the next generations. Le Doyen's portrait of him, made after Heince, shows a sceptically smiling man, with thin moustaches and a large nose. Cyrano was severely wounded twice, once at a fight with a Gascon Guard, and the second time at the siege of Arras in 1640. There he was hit in the neck with a sword and he never fully recovered from the wound. In the following year he gave up his military career and started to study under the philosopher and mathematician Pierre Gassendi. Influenced by Gassendi's theories and libertine philosophy, he wrote stories of imaginary journeys to the Moon and Sun, and satirized views, which saw humanity and the Earth as the center of creation. He also mocked Descartes' idea that animals are soulless machines. In his trip to the Moon Cyrano took off from the Earth in an apparatus festooned with firecrackers. There he is classified as a bird because he has two legs. In the second journey he is tried for the crimes of humanity by a court of birds. Cyrano defends himself saying that he is not a human being but an ape. In the 1650s Cyrano de Bergerac published two plays, LA MORT D'AGRIPPINE (1654), which was suspected of blasphemy, and LE PÉDANT JOUÉ (1654), from which Molière borrowed heavily for his play The Cheats of Chapin. Cyrano de Bergerac died in Paris on July 28, 1655. The cause of Cyrano's death was banal: a piece of plank dropped on his head. Only parts of his major work, L'AUTRE MONDE; OU, LES ÉTATS ET EMPIRES DE LA LUNE (Other Worlds: The Comical History of the States and The Empires of the Moon and the Sun, were published in posthumous versions. Other Worlds continued the Rabelaisian tradition of satire and was based on Lucian's A True Story. Henri le Bret, the author's friend, censored its heretical elements. In 1676 Cyrano's collected works appeared, which included a biting poem of Mazarin (1602-61), the famous French cardinal and statesman. Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac describes the adventures of the 17th century nobleman, famous for his large nose and swordsmanship. "'Tis well known, a big nose is indicative / Of a soul affable, and kind, and courteous, / Liberal, brave, just like myself, and such / As you can never dare to dream yourself..." Cyrano desperately loves the beautiful Roxane, but agrees to help his rival, Christian, win her heart. The historians have pointed out that Rostand's portrayal of the hero was not truthful - Cyrano was a serious writer of philosophical romances and a virile lover. It is assumed, that the third volume in Cyrano Bergerac's series HISTOIRE COMIQUE, The History of the Stars, is lost or has been destroyed. Other parts were Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon (1656) and Comical History of the States and Empires of the Sun (1661). The books, together known as L'autre monde, belong in the genre 'fantastic voyages', of which the oldest examples are the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, from the third millenium BC, and Homer's Odyssey, from the first. Johannes Kepler's Somnium (1643), Francis Bacon's New Atlantis (1627), and Tommasso Campanella's City of the Sun were written in the 17th century. Cyrano's imaginary visits to the moon and sun satirized the people and politics of his own day. Cyrano is escorted on the Moon by the Demon of Socrates, who says: "If there is something you men cannot understand, you either imagine that it is spiritual or that it does not exists. Both conclusions are quite false. The proof of this is the fact that there are perhaps a million things in the universe which you would need a million quite different organs to know. Myself, for example, I know from my senses what attracts the lodestone to the pole, how the tides pull the sea, what becomes of an animal after its death." (from Trillion Years Spree by Brian Aldiss & David Wingrove, 2001) In the second book he lands on the Sun, managing to invent an explanation why the heat doesn't burn. He meets Campanella, author of Civitas Solis, to whom a woman tells that her husband has killed her child twice. He has not fulfilled his conjugal duty, because by refusing to make the child "come into existence, he caused him not to be, which was the first murder, but subsequently he caused him never to be able to be, which was the second. A Common murderer knows that the man whose days he cuts short is no more, but none of them could cause a man never to have been." Bergerac's works influenced several later writers, among them Jonathan Swift and Voltaire, whose fantastical Micromégas: Histoire philosophique (1752) satirized our world from the viewpoint of giant visitors from space.
Rostand was born in Marseille into a wealthy and cultured Provençal
family. His father was an economist and a poet, a member of the Marseille
Academy and the Institute de France. Rostand studied literature, history,
and philosophy at the Collège Stanislas in Paris. In the 1880s he
published poems and essays in the literary review Mireille. His first play,
LE GANT ROUGE, was produced in 1888. Rostand abandoned his law studies
in 1890 when his first book of poems, LES MUSARDISES, appeared. He gave
it to the poet Rosemonde Gérard, a granddaughter of one of Napoleon's
marshals, whom he married in the same year. Their two sons, Jean and Maurice,
also became writers. Maurice Rostand (1891-1968) published poems, plays
(Le procès d'Oscar Wilde, 1935), and novels. His memoirs, Confession
d'un demi-siècle, appeared in 1948. Jean Rostand was a biologist,
who published essays and manuals and treatises on various aspects of biology.
His satiric portrait, Ignace, ou l'écrivain (1923), was about a
hypersensitive writer, partly based on his father and brother. (see La
Vie et l'œuvre de Jean Rostand by A. Juste, 1971)
Rostand's first successful play was LES ROMANESQUES (1894). It was produced at the Comédie Française and was based on Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. Three years later produced Cyrano de Bergerac became his most popular and enduring work - at that time he was 29-year-old. L'AIGLON (1900), a tragedy based on the life of Napoleon's son, the Duke of Reichstadt, also became popular. During its first run in 1900, the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt played the title role. Bernhardt also acted in LA SAMARITAINE (1897), based on the biblical story, and LA PRINCESSE LOINTAINE (1895), a story about an unattainable princess and a troubadour hero, who dies in her arms. "The dream, alone, is of interest. What is life, without a dream." The character of the hero was based on life of the medieval troubadour Jaufre Rudel. Le Bargy interpreted Les Romanesques, and Coquelin headed the cast of Cyrano de Bergerac. With these works Rostand revitalized the old romantic drama in verse. Naturalism was the major movement in literature - it was the time of Zola - but Rostand took up old themes and followed the Romantic tradition of Victor Hugo. When Cyrano was performed, the enthusiasm at the premiere was unexpected - people wept and it is told that the author was pelted with ladies' gloves and fans.
Cyrano de Bergerac is poetic, five-act romantic drama in verse, set in the reign of Louis XIII. The central character, Cyrano, is a famous swordsman, and an aspiring poet-lover. "A great nose indicates a great man - / Genial, courteous, intellectual, / Virile, courageous." Because of his grotesquely large nose "that marches on / before me by a quarter of an hour," he is convinced that he is too ugly to deserve his adored Roxane. Cyrano helps his inarticulate rival, Christian, win her heart by allowing him to present Cyrano's love poems, speeches, and letters as his own work. Soon the romance starts, Christian whispers his own love from the shadows in glorious words that Roxane believes are his. But Christian realizes that it was not his own good looks but Cyrano's letters that won Roxanne. Before his death on the battlefield, Christian asks Cyrano to confess their plot to Roxane. Cyrano keeps their secret for fourteen years. As he is dying years later, he visits Roxane and reveals her the truth. "That night when 'neath your window Christian spoke / --Under your balcony, you remember? Well! / There was the allegory of my whole life: / I, in the shadow, at the ladder's foot, / While others lightly mount to Love and Fame!" - The play opened at the Porte Saint-Martin Theater in December 1897. Cyrano's gallantry was seen as the reincarnation of the true Gallic spirit and Rostand became a national hero.
In 1901, at the age of thirty-three,
Rostand was elected to the Académie Française. However, Rostand
found his fame and unwanted publicity hard to bear. Suffering from poor
health, he retired to his family's country estate at Cambon, in the Basque
county. He continued to write plays and poetry, but his subsequent works
did not gain the popularity of Cyrano de Bergerac. In 1910 appeared CHANTECLER,
a story from the animal world of La Fontaine. It told about a barnyard
rooster who believes that his song makes the sun rise. The work was pronounced
a failure, and the author started his retirement at the luxurious villa
'Arnaga'. Rostand died of pneumonia in Paris on December 2, 1918. His last
dramatic poem was about Don Juan. The posthumously performed play failed
Edmond Rostand (1868-1918) Known both for his memorable dramatic works and for patriotic war poems, Edmond Rostand is one of France's great literary figures. His plays include "La Princesse lointaine" ("The Princess Far Away"), "La Samaritaine" ("The Woman of Samaria"), "Les Romanesques" ("Romantics"), "Chantecler" ("Chanticleer"), "L'aignon" ("The Eaglet"), an immediate success, and the posthumous "La Dernière Nuit de Don Juan" ("The Last Night of Don Juan"). His best known and most appreciated play is "Cyrano de Bergerac", published in 1897, which has been translated into practically every language. He was born on April 1, 1868 and spent his early childhood at the Thedenat School in Marseilles, an industrial city with colorful crowds, ports, and ships, which easily aroused his imagination. He was an avid reader, and he worshipped Walter Scott and Napoleon. His main diversion was a puppet theater he built at home, for which he built stage props and costumes. He attended the Marseilles Lycée from 1878 to 1884, during which time the Third Republic of France was establishing itself under the Constitution ratified in 1875. He was an outstanding student and showed a deep sensitivity for literary studies. The most memorable event of his lycée years was his consecration as "school poet," thanks to a translation into French verse of Catullus' poem to Lesbia's sparrow. He began publishing his first poems in 1994 in a small Marseilles magazine called Mireille. He spent the next two years at the Collège Stanislas in Paris. He was a great student there and was largely influenced by his professors, especially René Doumic and Boris de Tamenberg, who introduced him to Shakespeare and Musset. In addition to his professors, Rostand's family influenced him profoundly. Eugène, his father, an eminent economist and member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of Marseilles and of the Institut de France, was also a poet and translator of Catullus. His uncle, Alexis, was well known in the music world for his piano compositions, oratorios, and opera. A taste for music and for rhythmic emotion and color is evident in Rostand's work. The family member who lent the most to Rostand's warm temperament was his paternal grandmother, a beautiful and highly sensitive Spanish woman of Andalusian origin. Rostand inherited his vivacity and his love for le panache from her. From her, Rostand sought, in his own words, "the smile by which one excuses oneself for being sublime." After his secondary studies, Edmond moved to Paris on the Rue de Bourgogne and began his law studies in order to satisfy his father and professors. After fulfilling his duties, Edmond made attempts at writing drama. The result was an unfinished tragedy in verse, "Yorick", as well as two acts in prose, "Les Petites Manies". Rostand's name became known to the general public, however, only in 1890, with the publication of his collection of poetry, "Les Musardises", which he had begun in 1888. Despite a certain fascination with the daydreams and delightful meanderings of imagination, the critics gave Rostand no encouragement. "Les Musardises" was not successful. He married Rosemonde Gérard the same year of "Les Musardises'" publication, and the work is dedicated to her. She was the daughter of one of Napoleon's marshals. An orphan, she was raised in a convent. She loved literature and composed poetry. She was the ideal companion for a poet, and a constant source of encouragement for him in the face of many failures. Their first child, Maurice, was born in 1891. That same year, Rostand retired to Cambo, in the Pyrenees, after being the recipient of the Legion of Honor. But it was Cyrano de Bergerac, written from April 1896 to January 1897, that marked Rostand's crowning glory. In 1901, he was elected to the French Academy. He was timid in society and a feeling of exile persisted in him. He had also become ill with pulmonary congestion. He felt that what he was experiencing, namely success and triumph, was the cruelest form of human anguish. In the midst of this anguish came such works as "Chanticleer" and the cold tragedy, "The Last Night of Don Juan". His isolation in Cambo inspired him to add a new concept to his poems: nature. In nature he discovered a new world and a symbolic life. When France entered the first World War in 1914, Rostand, certainly unable to fight, began writing vibrant, patriotic poems, even visiting the trenches in order to see first hand the destruction, blood, and suffering. The horrors of war had a profound impact on his physical and mental health. On December 22, 1918, six weeks after the armistice ending the war, Rostand died.
ROSTAND, GREAT FRENCH POET, DEAD: An obituary
This obituary was originally published in Theatre Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 1. Willis Steell. New York: Theatre Magazine Company, 1919. p. 12.
WHEN Edmond Rostand, the distinguished dramatic poet who died of pneumonia on December 2nd (1918), quitted Paris after his first world-renowned success, Cyrano de Bergerac, he gave out not the true reason for his exile to a magnificant estate in the Pyrenees, conditions of his health, but said explicitly that he was leaving the Capital of Art in order to get out of the reach of important interviewers, lionizers, et al.
In other words he took a leaf from the book of the English Tennyson and intended to cultivate his talents in seclusion. There is all the difference of nationality, however, in the way the Englishman carried out his scheme of a cloistered life and the way the Frenchman did. At Cambo, if one ever got so far, there was always a welcome from Rostand who seemed, indeed, to be glad of an excuse to break his literary rule and become a delightful host. Americans who traveled thither were never turned away and often when they went to see Rostand as a mere passing traveler they ended by the poet's warm invitation by becoming for as long as they could stay the poet's guests.
Eccentric as the great French poet must have been, for everybody in Paris thus describes him, his eccentricity was purely Gallic. He wearied of his own society quickly and like a later Montaigne he went up to his ivory tower not to compose anything but himself--in slumber. A real French hermit is an inconceivable human and Rostand was not a hermit in any foreign sense.
He loved the sound of cities and only delicate health took him out of it. Because of his predilection for crowds, his dramatis personae became the longest in modern times. The very basse cour had to be a thickly settled domain to attract him. Thus he filled a scene with cock and hen, pheasant and all the denizens of the farm yard when he set about the play which in the opinion of his countrymen gives him the surest claim to immortality Chanticler.
The poet began his magnum opus shortly after he had arrived at Cambo and made the acquaintance of his feathered friends. But he was seven years writing it and re-writing it and long before it reached a public, many of the circumstances attending its composition and production had won for him the reputation which he did not justly merit, that of an unreasonable eccentric. By its unwritten history, if by nothing else, the piece won him fame and money. The very rumor of it blew for the author a glorious bubble of reputation.
Younger than Balzac when he died, Rostand in his life and habit of work seemed the antithesis of the famous novelist. Work killed the one and rest the other, unless the seeds of disease were in the poet as he always said and probably believed. Born in Marseilles, he displayed little of the meridional Frenchman in his career but indeed his career is without precedent in the literature of France. Almost from the beginning his talents were recognized and at twenty-nine when he produced Cyrano de Bergerac his fortune was made.
That play came as a reaction. Pieces in verse are not uncommon in France where they are accorded a respectful hearing but no reward, and the dramatists when Rostand began as an author were frankly matter of fact and mercenary. Who would have dreamed that a five act drama in verse with a hero whom only littérateurs remembered, composed by a writer literally unknown (except to a circle of high brows and Sarah Bernhardt) would shove him at the age of twenty-nine into the close circle of the Immortals? But Cyrano de Bergerac is more than a poetic arrangement of a drama. It is drama understandable and to be understood at once by the public. He had not written one or two failures, including La Samaritaine, without learning the playwright's trade. He had learned it thoroughly and meant to avoid by immense technique the pitfall of the study drama. Cyrano is delightful reading but it is meant for the stage.
Only a few years had passed
since his first essay had failed at the Cluny. It must have been a complete
failure for no enterprising manager in the encouragement of later triumphs
has dared to put on Le Gant Rouge with a hope to score by these. Only a
few years, as lives go, even in high literature, passed before the success
of L'Aiglon dotted the "I" and crossed the "T" of Cyrano. Then came a long
rest, a quiet study of barn yard life which produced Chanticler. The victory
of the much-heralded piece surprised even Rostand idolaters; the French
pronounce it the high mark of their intellectual history. It has never
had an adequate representation in an English version although several excellent
translations exist. Whether or not with an English speaking company comparable
to that which Rostand himself demanded for his play in France, it would
win from us the same applause as at home may be doubted. For Chanticler
is a sort of French idiom, not to be easily acquired by other races.
|Henry C. Rowland 1874-1933|
|The Countess Diane|
|Henry C. Rowland Physician, novelist and
traveller. Born in New York City; died in Washington, D. C.
Bibliography of magazine appearances
|Berta Ruck (Mrs. Oliver Onions) (1878-1978)|
|Kneel to the Prettiest
Lucky in Love
The Bridge of Kisses
The Dancing Star
The Immortal Girl
The Leap Year Girl
The Subconscious Courtship
Amy Roberta Ruck Oliver ~ (1878-1978) Contributor to Passing Show Magazine in the '30s
Ruck was one of the more adept chroniclers of Jazz Age women during this golden period of romance literature.
Writer and novelist Berta Ruck (1879-1978) grew up at Esgair, near Pantperthog, had close family connections with Pantlludw, in the foothills just to the North of Machynlleth, and from the 1950s lived in Aberdyfi. She was a prolific writer, publishing more than 100 books over the course of her long life, including a large number of novels, and her family history in various volumes from 1967. Her aunt Amy was married to Charles Darwin's son, Frank. Her husband, well-known ghost story writer Oliver Onions (1873-1961), wrote many such books, but one in particular - "The Beckoning Fair One" - is apparently considered by many to be the best ghost story ever written. He pronounced his name "Own-EYE-ons", but this must still have worried him, because he later changed his name to George Oliver, reportedly to spare his children any embarrassment. Pantlludw: it was known locally as "The littlest house which sends out the tallest men", and there is an ancient yew tree there mentioned in an 1897 book, "The Yew Trees of Great Britain & Ireland". Back in those years it was said to have a girth of 30 feet, and I've now had confirmation that it is still very much alive, and needing regular pruning to stop it outgrowing its location. Laurence Ruck (Berta's father?) was one of a group of local "men of substance" who fought successfully for a railway line to be driven through to the area from Newtown in 1863.If you take a close look at a detailed Ordnance Survey map, you'll see a tiny lake named Llyn Ruck just above the Ruck family home at Pantlludw.
The University of Delaware Library's Special Collections Department holds Berta's 1928-1937 travel journals. See http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/findaids/ruck.htm
Amy Roberta (Berta) Ruck was born in Muree, India, on August 2, 1878, the eldest of eight children. Both her parents were from army families, and her father, Colonel A.A. Ruck, was a Welsh commander in the British army. By her second year, Ruck's family had moved back to North Wales, where her father became Chief Constable of Caernarvonshire in 1888. After graduating from a boarding school in Bangor, and working briefly as an au pair in Germany, Ruck attended art school in London and Paris. Initially, Ruck worked as an illustrator, providing drawings for stories in The Idler and the children's magazine Jabberwocky. In the latter, she was also able to publish a short story, and she began writing fiction for women's magazines.
In 1909, Ruck married the writer Oliver Onions (1873-1961), who later changed his professional name to George Oliver. They had two sons, Arthur (b. 1912) and William (b. 1913). With Onions' assistance, Ruck revised her story "His Official Fiancée," which had been serialized in Home Chat in 1912, for publication in book form. The novel, which appeared two years later, was a success in both Great Britain and the United States, and it began Ruck's prolific career as a popular writer. Over the next fifty-eight years, she would publish over a hundred books, often producing as many as three a year. Some of her novels, including His Official Fiancée and Sir or Madame? (1923) were also adapted into movies. Her stories were primarily modern-day romances, but she also wrote five autobiographical works; the last, Ancestral Voices, which appeared in 1972, was her last book.
In 1922, Ruck found herself
inadvertently included in the Virginia Woolf novel Jacob's Room; the book
had placed the name "Berta Ruck," which Woolf had apparently chosen at
random, on a tombstone. This coincidence lead to a correspondence between
Ruck and Woolf, despite litigious threats from Onions. The two women shared
a common friendship with Russian dancer Lydia Lopokova. Ruck died in Aberdovey,
Wales on August 11, 1978, at the age of 100.
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