The story takes place during an imaginary Italian Renaissance. The prince Jules de Bramante has two sons ; his eldest son , whom he loves, has a daughter, whereas his second son, whom he hates, is the father of a boy. And, as according to the Salic Law, only men could inherit, the prince hides his grand-daughter and gives her the physical training and intellectual education which suits a young boy. The play starts at the moment when this terrible secret is revealed to Gabriel who knows nothing of his genuine female nature.

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