Wednesday, April 1, 2009

To dream of love . . .

A Happy Birthday salute to the French writers Antoine François Prévost and Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand.

Antoine François Prévost (April 1, 1697 - December 23, 1763), author and novelist, better known as Abbé Prévost author of the novel Manon Lescaut.

Manon Lascaut was the seventh and final volume of Mémoires et aventures d'un homme de qualité (Memoirs and Adventures of a Man of Quality). The short novel was considered very controversial when published in 1731 and was banned in France. Despite the banning or perhaps because of the banning, it became very popular and pirated editions were widely distributed. In the later 1753 edition, the Abbé Prévost toned down some scandalous details and injected more moralizing disclaimers.

Trivia bit:Two well-known operas, Manon, by Massenet (1884), and Manon Lescaut, by Puccini (1893), are based on his novel.


Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand (April 1, 1868 – December 2, 1918), poet and dramatist, best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac.

"When, in 1901, following the success of L'Aiglon, Rostand was elected to the French Academy, he was the youngest member ever to be chosen for that honor. The hold that Rostand secured on a far-flung audience cannot be better illustrated than by an incident that occurred on the occasion of the first performance of Chanticler in Paris. On the following day, 'a daily newspaper in Butte, Montana, devoted, not the first column, but the entire first page to Chanticler!'

Rostand was prevented from living in Paris by his delicate health which required a kinder climate. Incidentally, he could not take a walk on Paris streets without being followed by adoring crowds. He built himself a huge château at Cambo in the Pyrenees where he lived and wrote until his death in 1918."
direct quote source (1)

"The dream, alone, is of interest. What is life, without a dream?" - Edmond Rostand

"It is at night that faith in light is admirable." - Edmond Rostand

Trivia bit: He died a victim of the widespread influenza epidemic of 1918.

Rostand image source (1)
Prévost image source (1)

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