The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Bergerac, Savinien Cyrano de
BERGERAC, Savinien Cyrano de, French author: b. 1619; d. 1655. He was distinguished for his courage in the field, and for the number of his duels, more than a thousand, most of them fought on account of his monstrously large nose. His writings, which are often crude, but full of invention, vigor and wit, include a tragedy, ‘Agrippine,’ which was regarded at the time as the vehicle of atheistic teaching; and a comedy, ‘The Pedant Tricked,’ from which Corneille and Molière have freely borrowed ideas; and his ‘Comical History of the States and Empires of the Sun and the Moon’ probably suggested ‘Micromégas’ to Voltaire, and ‘Gulliver’ to Swift. His works have been frequently republished. He was made the hero of a drama bearing his name, written by Edmond Rostand, the French playwright, which had a phenomenal success in the United States in 1899-1900, and was the occasion of a suit for plagiarism. See Rostand, Edmond.