Walska was an opera singer who became famous for her numerous marriages to wealthy men, and for her Lotusland garden in California. With her wealth she purchased the Theatre des Champs-Elysees and the Duchess of Marlborough Faberge Egg. She is considered to be the source for the character Susan Alexander in the film Citizen Kane.
Albani was a major opera singer in her time. She was one of the first Canadian singers to achieve international fame and subsequently travel across North America and Europe. She was made a Dame in 1925.
Bariatinskaya was born into Russian nobility. At 18 she married one of the Tsar’s aides-de-camp and became Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. During the 1840s she was painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, with one of these portraits now in the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Saint-Saens was a major European composer and pianist of the 19th Century. He is best known for his work The Carnival of the Animals, and the opera Samson and Delilah. His students include Gabriel Faure and Maurice Ravel.
Sillitoe was part of the ‘Angry Young Men’ group of writers who emerged in 1950s, alongside writers like Kingsley Amis and John Osborne. He is principally known for two of his early works, ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ and ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’.
Andersen is one of the most widely read authors in the world. He is chiefly remembered for his fairy tales which include The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and Thumbelina.