The Genge Press

 45 Quay Street, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5UL       tel +44 (0)1643 706461



 45 Quay Street, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5UL

The Genge Press







the play by French poet-dramatist Edmond Rostand, is famous all over the world. Edmond Rostand was born in Marseilles, France, on 1st April 1868 and died in Paris on 2nd December 1918. Genge Press has set up this web site in 2018 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Edmond Rostand’s death and the 150th anniversary of his birth


Sue Lloyd (Susan M.Lloyd, née Emmerson) gained her honours degree in French at Bristol University in 1964 and then trained and worked as a teacher, in this country and in East Africa. She gained a master's degree at the University of East Anglia for her   M Phil thesis: “Edmond Rostand’s Success: Cyrano de Bergerac” before editing major new editions of Roget’s Thesaurus for Longman and Penguin Books (1982, 1984). While continuing to work as an editor and lexicographer, Sue continued her research into Edmond Rostand and his work. The result was her biography of Rostand: The Man who was Cyrano,  a Life of Edmond Rostand, Creator of "Cyrano de Bergerac", published in the USA in 2003 and in the UK in 2007.


As the British authority on Edmond Rostand and his work, Sue has contributed talks and/or programme notes to UK productions of Cyrano de Bergerac at the National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre, as well as programme notes for the Royal Opera House’s production of Franco Alfano’s opera Cyrano de Bergerac.   Her essays on Edmond Rostand himself, his play Chantecler, and  Cyrano de Bergerac, are available to universities and colleges worldwide on the online Literary Encyclopedia, Sue was honoured to be invited to take part in the conference at the Rostand museum, Villa Arnaga, at Cambo-les-bains, on the occasion of Chantecler’s centenary in 2010. In September 2018 she took part in the conference at Arnaga to celebrate  Rostand's double anniversary: 150 years since his birth and 100 years since his death from the Spanish flu in December 2018. See below under the heading LATEST  NEWS.




and for the latest Rostand news



Genge Press was set up in 2003 by Sue Lloyd to publish books  about Edmond Rostand and his work, and also translations of his plays.  Each book has a page of its own on this web site. The links are at the bottom of this page, so please scroll all the way down.


Don't miss our new feature, Poem of the Month! See below.



To see our other titles, including local history, please check out our earlier site, That web site also has a much more comprehensive bibliography of works by and about Edmond Rostand, and also a bibliography of plays by our own British poet dramatist, Christopher Fry.


Great-grand-mother Mary Ann Genge




a new feature!


Poem of the month for May




C’est chose bien commune

De soupirer pour une

Blonde, châtaine ou brune


Lorsque, brune, châtaine,

Ou blonde, on l’a sans peine.

—Moi, j’aime la lointaine

            Princesse !


C’est chose bien peu belle

D’être longtemps fidèle,

Lorsqu’on peut baiser d’Elle

            La traîne,

Lorsque parfois on presse

Une main qui se laisse …

—Moi, j’aime la lointaine

            Princesse !


Car c’est chose suprême

D’aimer sans qu’on vous aime,

D’aimer toujours, quand même,

            Sans cesse,

D’une amour incertaine,

Plus noble d’être vaine …

Et  j’aime la lointaine

            Princesse !


Car c’est chose divine

D’aimer lorsqu’on devine

Rêve, invente, imagine

            A peine …

Le seul rêve intéresse.

Vivre sans rêve, qu’est-ce ?

Et  j’aime la lointaine

            Princesse !



Act One, scene four, ‘La Princesse Lointaine’, d’Edmond Rostand



This play is set in the Middle Ages, and the poem above is sung by the troubadour hero, Joffroy Rudel, about his love for his beloved distant princess: Mélissinde, Princess of Tripoli, as, gravely ill, he sails from Provence to meet her for the very first time.


Rostand wrote ‘La Princesse Lointaine’ for Sarah Bernhardt in 1895. The great actress, now in her early fifties, was looking for more poetic, idealistic plays in which to star. In 1897, she would also create the role of Photine in Rostand’s ‘La Samaritaine’. It was at rehearsals for ‘La Princesse Lointaine’ that Constant Coquelin first met Rostand, and asked him for a play he too could star in. The result was ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’.


‘La Princesse Lointaine’ is the key to understanding Rostand’s work. All his idealistic ideas are here: the holiness of pure love, and its power to redeem the both lover and the beloved, and the need for a vision, ‘un rêve’, to raise us above mediocrity and give us a reason for living passionately. Rostand proposes here, as in all his plays, that the love of one soul for another is the better part of love. The play ends with the words of the sympathetic priest, Frère Trophime : ‘Truly, great love does the work of heaven’.









For earlier Poems of the Month, please contact Genge Press at <>





Scroll on down for links to the other pages on this site  about Rostand and our books




All Genge Press titles may be purchased via booksellers or direct from Genge Press. We accept all major currencies via the secure PayPal server or a personal cheque is acceptable if you live in the UK.  You can also pay by bank transfer. Just send your request and your address to and I will get back to you without delay.

To enjoy this site fully please view on your desktop/Laptop




To keep up-to-date with the latest news from France, see Thomas Sertillanges's web site:

See also, Philippe Bulinge's information about the performances in France of Rostand's work.


2018: The web site for the Museum of Musical History,, has marked the centenary of Edmond Rostand’s death on 2nd December 1918, by devoting its ‘Image of the Month’ page in December to his connections with music. The page is illustrated and  features my essay on the numerous pieces of music inspired by Rostand and his works.

The page went live at midnight on the first of December, but it is still available on the MOMH web site.






Our translations,   " The Last Night of Don Juan" and

"The Woman of Samaria", are now available on Kindle,

presently priced at £2.64 and £2.80 respectively





2018 COLLOQUE AT VILLA ARNAGA, Cambo-les-bains, France


The Colloque  took place in September at Arnaga, Rostand’s villa, now a museum in his memory. Over twenty Rostand researchers from universities all over France (and beyond) lectured on aspects of Edmond Rostand’s work. My own contribution,  «Amour sacré et amour profane dans le théâtre de Rostand », explored this topic in relation to "La Samaritaine" and "La Dernière Nuit de Don Juan".








Invited back to his old school to address the students, after the triumph of Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand spoke to them in verse.

The verses quoted below are four out of twenty-one verses. They conclude with the final two verses.

The whole poem can be found in Rostand’s  Le Cantique de l’aile (Paris: Fasquelle, 1922).



Monsieur de Bergerac est mort ; je le regrette.

Ceux qui l’imiteraient seraient origineaux.

C’est la grâce aujourd’hui, qu’à tous je vous souhaite.

Voilà mon conseil de poète:

Soyez de petits Cyranos.


S’il fait nuit, battez-vous à tâtons contre l’ombre,

Criez éperdument, lorsque c’est mal : C’est mal !

Soyez pour la beauté, soyez contre le nombre !

Rappelez vers la plage sombre

Le flot chantant de l’Idéal !

Et c’est pourquoi je vous demande de panache !

Cambrez-vous. Poitrinez ! Marchez. Marquez le pas.

Tout ce que vous pensez, soyez fiers qu’on le sache,

Et retroussez votre moustache,

Même si vous n’en avez pas !


Ne connaissez jamais la peur d’être risibles ;

On peut faire sonner le talon des aïeux

Même sur des trottoirs modernes et paisibles.

Et les éperons invisibles

Sont ceux-là qui tintent le mieux !



Lines spoken to the students of the Collège Stanislas, March 1898


Monsieur de Bergerac is dead, I’m sorry to say.

Those who imitate him would be original.

It is a quality I wish for you all today.

Here is my advice for you as a poet:

Be little Cyranos.


If it is night, fight your way bit by bit out of the dark;

When something is wrong, shout out: “This is wrong!”

Stand up for beauty, stand out against the crowd!

Call back to the gloomy shore

The swelling song of Idealism!


This is why I ask you for panache!

Put your shoulders back and stick out your chest.

March and keep in step.

Be proud for people to know your thoughts.

Twirl your moustache, even if you haven’t got one!


Never be afraid of seeming ridiculous.

Even in our modern peaceful streets,

You can make the heels of your ancestors resound.

And it is invisible spurs that ring out the loudest.

     SML 2019©