French author of Italian-Polish origin. He was born out of wedlock in Rome and was baptized Guglielmo Alberto Wladimiro Alessandro Apollinaire de Kostrovitsky. His mother was Angelica de Kostrovitsky, a passionate adventuress of noble Polish lineage. His father was unknown, and the traditional opinion that it was an Italian officer rests on very uncertain ground. Although his mother depended on economic support from temporary lovers and her luck at the roulette table, she managed to give Wilhelm, as Apollinaire was called by his closest friends and family, and his two year younger half-brother Albert, a somewhat regular schooling, with Monte Carlo as a base. Wilhelm was a talented and, at least in the beginning, compliant student, but he never obtained a school certificate, which did not prevent him from eventually developing into a learned bibliophile.
This is an abbreviated version of the article about Guillaume Apollinaire.
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