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Cyrano: A fascinating legend. An even more fascinating man.,
This review is from: Cyrano: The Life and Legend of Cyrano de Bergerac (Paperback)
Cyrano de Bergerac. A fascinating legend. An even more fascinating man. He was a duellist who once fought (ahem) a hundred men at one go; a soldier who was disabled out of the Seven Years War; and a writer who wrote plays, polemics, and his masterpiece, Journey To The Moon, which was the first science fiction novel and a satire on 17th Century society as Cyrano saw it. He wrote widely and covered many subjects: The tyranny of the Catholic Church and the iniquities of the Inquisition; an advocacy of atheism; a defence of scientific rationalism against supposition, and in particular in defence of Galileo; against belief in witchcraft; and surprisingly for a soldier and a duellist, advocating love as a more noble activity than making war.
Ishbel Addyman's biography puts Cyrano in the context of his own times and separates fact from fiction, dwelling on both the legend, and how it came about, and the real man, who was both brilliant and flawed. She has done an excellent job. This book is entertaining, scholarly, and written with panache.