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Anna Elisabeth Comtesse de Noailles 1876- 1933

Anna Elisabeth de Brancovan was born in Paris to a father who was a Rumanian prince and whose mother was Greek and a renowned international pianist. Her father died when she was only 9 years old, however, but she, nonetheless, spent a happy and privileged childhood in Paris and at a country house on the shores of lake Geneva. In addition to her native French, she spoke both English and German.

She married Count Mathieu de Noailles to become Anna, Countess de Noailles at age 21 years. She bore a son and, in 1901, published to great success her first collection of poems, Le cœur innombrable. She was thus encouraged to write works of fiction without compromising her interest in poetry in which she took inspiration from Hugo and de Musset. Her salon was frequented by numerous writers and she became proficient in painting many examples of which were bequeathed to the town of Evian; and she, herself, was the subject in several sittings to celebrated painters.

She was a co-founder of the Prix Fémina and was admitted to l'Académie royale de langue et de littérature française in Belgium and, in 1931, became the first female Commander of the Légion d'honneur. Her poem "Violons dans le soir" has been set to music by Saint-Saens.

After several years of ill health, she died in the year following publication of her autobiography, Le livre de ma vie. Her interment at Paris was attended by several thousand mourners.