Cyrano: The Life and Legend of Cyrano de Bergerac
'Over three and a half centuries ago, a lone swordsman stepped out of the shadows of obscurity and into the light of lasting legend. His 'duel with a hundred men', as it became known, was a defining moment in the career of a man whose insane daring would make him a legend.'
Before the legend there was a life; before the hero there was a man.
Today, Cyrano de Bergerac is generally only remembered as a lovelorn eccentric with a big nose. Edmund Rostand's famous play inspired by the life of Cyrano is a worldwide box-office smash but the man behind the legend is more or less forgotten. The real Cyrano was sharper, funnier and, ironically, more modern than the romantic hero he inspired.
Cyrano de Bergerac was a death-defying soldier-poet in the age of the musketeers. His duelling skills were unparalleled and his wit was every bit as keen as his sword's edge. He was one of the first ever writers to pen a work of science-fiction and he risked his life with harsh criticisms of the church and state. Having witnessed the sheer horror and futility of warfare at first hand, Cyrano went on to promote diplomacy and peaceful conflict resolution; originating the slogan 'Make love not war'. His was a paradoxical and ever-changing career, forged by brave and independent thinking that was often years ahead of its time. Almost certainly gay or bisexual himself, Cyrano simply refused to acknowledge the taboo on such relationships. He would not allow that love could ever be wrong.
So how did the rebellious, intellectual adventurer come to be remembered only as a funny-looking romantic failure? The story of the real Cyrano de Bergerac, who inspired jealousy, fear and hatred, but also admiration, loyalty and love, is both a murder mystery and a literary detective story. Above all it is the story of a man who deserves to be celebrated for his independence of mind, his heroic courage, his sparkling wit, his unfailing good humour and his riotous creativity.
Condition: Pre-loved book. Minor yellowing of pages; remaindered copy.
Year published: 2008
Imprint: Simon & Schuster
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