- A city in northeastern Algeria; pop. 449,000. The capital of the Roman province of Numidia, it was destroyed in 311 but was rebuilt by Constantine the Great and given his name
- Emperor of Rome who stopped the persecution of Christians and in 324 made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire; in 330 he moved his capital from Rome to Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople (280-337)
- a walled city in northeastern Algeria to the east of Algiers; was destroyed in warfare in the 4th century and rebuilt by Constantine I
- Constantine is the solo debut album of rock singer Constantine Maroulis. It debuted at #75 on the Billboard 200, selling around 9,000 copies in its first week.
- (biographer) someone who writes an account of a person’s life
- an account of the series of events making up a person’s life
- A human life in its course
- An account of someone’s life written by someone else
- Writing of such a type as a branch of literature
- (biographical) biographic: of or relating to or being biography; “biographical data”
- relatively large in size or number or extent; larger than others of its kind; “a great juicy steak”; “a great multitude”; “the great auk”; “a great old oak”; “a great ocean liner”; “a great delay”
- Used to reinforce another adjective of size or extent
- of major significance or importance; “a great work of art”; “Einstein was one of the outstanding figures of the 20th centurey”
- Of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average
- Very large and imposing
- a person who has achieved distinction and honor in some field; “he is one of the greats of American music”
Édith Piaf (1915 –1963) is a cultural icon and is universally regarded as France’s greatest popular singer. Her ballads, like La Vie en rose (1946) and Non, je ne regrette rien (1960), reflected her life. She appeared sporadically in films.
Despite numerous biographies, much of Édith Piaf’s life is shrouded in mystery. She was born Édith Giovanna Gassion in Ménilmontant, one of the poorer districts of Paris, in 1915. She was named Edith after the World War I British nurse Edith Cavell, who was executed for helping French soldiers escape from German captivity. Piaf – a Francilien colloquialism for sparrow – was a nickname she would receive 20 years later. Her Moroccan-Italian mother, Anita Maillard, worked as a café singer under the name Line Marsa. Louis-Alphonse Gassion, Édith’s father, was a Norman street acrobat with a past in the theatre. Édith’s parents soon abandoned her, and she lived for a short time with her maternal grandmother, who virtually ignored her. Her father had enlisted with the French Army to fight in World War I. When Louis Alphonse returned in 1918, he decided to send his daughter to live with his mother in Normandy. Later, she joined her father in his acrobatic street performances all over France. Discovering that she had a powerful singing voice which could hold a crowd mesmerised for longer than her father’s backflips, Edith decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps. In Paris she went her own way and began singing on the Paris streets while her friend Simone, aka Momone, passed the hat round. In spite of her scruffy street urchin appearance, Edith proved extremely popular with the crowds, her amazingly expressive voice managing to move even the most impassive listener. She was about 16 when she fell in love with Louis Dupont, a delivery boy and they soon had a child, Marcelle, who died of meningitis at age two. In 1935 Piaf was discovered by Louis Leplée, owner of the nightclub Le Gerny off the Champs-Élysées. He gave her the nickname that would stay with her for the rest of her life, La Môme Piaf (The Little Sparrow – she was only 1m47 tall). Leplée taught her the basics of stage presence and told her to wear a black dress, later to become her trademark apparel. He ran an intense publicity campaign leading up to her opening night, attracting the presence of many celebrities, including Maurice Chevalier. Her nightclub gigs led to her first two records produced that same year. In 1936, Leplée was murdered and Piaf was questioned and accused as an accessory, but was acquitted. Leplée had been killed by mobsters with previous ties to Piaf. To rehabilitate her image, she recruited Raymond Asso, with whom she would become romantically involved. He changed her stage name to Édith Piaf, barred undesirable acquaintances from seeing her, and commissioned Marguerite Monnot to write songs that reflected or alluded to Piaf’s previous life on the streets. Later that same year Piaf launched a film career, appearing in La garçonne/The Tomboy (1937, Jean Limur) with Marie Bell.
In 1940, Édith Piaf co-starred with Paul Meurisse in Jean Cocteau’s successful one-act play Le Bel Indifférent. Piaf and Meurisse were then offered leading roles in ‘s film Montmartre-sur-Seine (1940, Georges Lacombe) in which the couple starred alongside the famous French actor Jean-Louis Barrault. She began forming friendships with prominent people, including Chevalier and poet Jacques Borgeat. She wrote the lyrics of many of her songs and collaborated with composers on the tunes. In 1944, she discovered Yves Montand in Paris, made him part of her act, and became his mentor and lover. They would form a famous double act in the film Etoile sans lumière/Star Without Light (1945, Marcel Blistène). Within a year, Montand became one of the most famous singers in France, and Piaf broke off their relationship when he had become almost as popular as she was. During this time she was in great demand and very successful in Paris as France’s most popular entertainer. After the war, she became known internationally, touring Europe, the United States, and South America. She scored a major hit in 1946 with Les Trois Cloches, which would later become an English-language smash for the Browns when translated into The Three Bells. Later that year, she recorded the self-composed number La Vie en Rose, another huge hit that international audiences would come to regard as her signature song. She also sang it in the film Neuf garçons, un coeur/Nine Boys, One Heart (1948, Georges Friedland), in which she appeared with her new protégés Les Compagnons de la Chanson. The love of Piaf’s life was the married boxing champion Marcel Cerdan. He died in a plane crash in October 1949, while flying from Paris to New York City to meet her. His sudden death left Piaf devastated and she fell in a deep depression. It was the beginning of her downfall and drugs and alcohol b
Genealogy of the de la Harpe family
"In 1784, Catherine appointed a Swiss, Frédéric-César de La Harpe, to be the boys’ primary tutor. A republican, skeptical of autocracy, he won Alexander’s respect and affection and, with Catherine’s permission, continued to preach the blessings of liberty and the duties of a sovereign toward his people. Alexander listened to these teachings; Constantine rebelled against them. Once he shouted at La Harpe that when he came to power, he would enter Switzerland with his army and destroy the country. La Harpe replied calmly, "There is in my country, near the little town of Morat, a building in which we keep the bones of those who pay us such a visit."
[Quotation Source: Catherine the Great – Portrait of a Woman by Pulitzer prize-winning author Robert K Massie]