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Madeleine Alcover Cyrano research materials and Academic papers

Identifier: MS 0631
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains typescripts, proofs, correspondence, microfilm, and notecards of Madeleine Alcover for her critical editions and studies on Cyrano de Bergerac; Cyrano’s family, as well as his writer-friends Charles d’Assoucy, Le Royer de Prades, Henry Le Bret, and others. The collection also contains documents and correspondence related to Alcover's academic career.


  • 1957 - 2014


Access restrictions

This material is open for research except for one folder which is marked as restricted.

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Use restrictions

Permission to publish from Madeleine Alcover Cyrano research materials and academic papers, must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Biographical Note

Dr. Madeleine Alcover was born in Casablanca, Morocco on October 27, 1938. She received a Diplôme d’études supérieures de lettres modernes (magna cum laude) and a Doctorate in French Literature (summa cum laude) from the University of Bordeaux. She began her teaching career at Indiana University from 1967-1975 before coming to Rice University in 1971. Specializing in 17th and 18th century French literature, she contributed to the current understanding of the life, times, and works of Cyrano de Bergerac, a subject she would continue to pursue in Paris archives even in the years after her retirement in 2004.

Dr. Alcover garnered international recognition for the five books she published over the course of her career, and of articles on Bayle, Corneille, Fénelon, Furetière, Guilleragues, Madeleine de Scudéry, and Voltaire. Her published books are: Cyrano de Bergerac (1968); La Pensée philosophique et scientifique de Cyrano de Bergerac (1971); L’Autre Monde ou Les Estats et Empires de la Lune (1977); Poullain de la Barre, une aventure philosophique (1981); and Cyrano relu et corrigé (1990). Dr. Alcover passed away on August 27, 2014.

Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, (born March 6, 1619, Paris—died July 28, 1655, Paris), was a French satirist and dramatist whose works combining political satire and science-fantasy inspired a number of later writers. He has been the basis of many romantic but unhistorical legends, of which the best known is Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), in which he is portrayed as a gallant and brilliant but shy and ugly lover, possessed (as in fact he was) of a remarkably large nose.

As a young man, Cyrano joined the company of guards and was wounded at the Siege of Arras in 1640. But he gave up his military career in the following year to study under the philosopher and mathematician Pierre Gassendi. Under the influence of Gassendi’s scientific theories and libertine philosophy, Cyrano wrote his two best known works, Histoire comique des états et empires de la lune and Histoire comique des états et empires du soleil (Eng. trans. A Voyage to the moon: with some account of the Solar World, 1754). These stories of imaginary journeys to the Moon and Sun, published posthumously in 1656 and 1662, satirize 17th-century religious and astronomical beliefs, which saw man and the world as the center of creation.

Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from" show="new" title="">


9 Linear Feet (9 boxes + 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by the estate of Madeleine Alcover in 2014.
Guide to the Madeleine Alcover Cyrano research materials and Academic papers, 1957-2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA