• A Romantic verse drama by Victor Hugo, which causeda riot at its first performance on 25 February 1830 at the staid Comédie-Française,Paris. The plot involves the doomed love of Hernani, an outlaw, forDoña Sol. The older playgoers were offended by Hugo's breachesof classical decorum and began to shout "Racine! Racine!",provoking an equally passionate reaction from the younger advocatesof Romanticism, mostly students. A turning point in the debacle occurredwhen the critic Théophile Gautier (1811 - 72) stood andshouted to the reactionaries, "Your Racine is a scamp, gentlemen!"

    Nearly half a century later, in 1877, the role of DoñaSol was played with great sensitivity by Sarah Bernhardt.Hugo was in the audience and said it was the first time he had seenthe part properly acted.