Cyrano de Bergerac


It is claimed that Rostand stole the idea for the play from Samuel Eberly Gross, a Chicago real estate developer. In 1896 Gross wrote a play, The Merchant Prince of Corneville, which was published in Illinois in a limited edition of 250 copies. In 1902 Gross sued Rostand for plagiarizing this work. The judge, disregarding Rostand’s defense that he had never seen or heard of Gross’ play, and ignoring the dissimilarities of character, style of writing, humor and plot, found for the plaintiff and granted a permanent injunction against Rostand’s play ever appearing in the USA.[26] This may or may not still be in force.

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