Les personnalités britanniques - Maxicours

Les personnalités britanniques

1. The Beatles (1960-1970)
This band was composed of John Lennon, Paul Mc Cartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

They started in Liverpool and quickly became successful because they could blend the "beat" of rock and roll and the melodies of songs.

John Lennon and Paul Mc Cartney composed almost all the songs. They are now still very famous: Yesterday (1965), Michelle (1965), Yellow Submarine (1966), Hey Jude (1968)...

They separated in 1970 and started solo careers, but John Lennon was assassinated in 1980.

2. Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977)
Charlie Chaplin was famous in Hollywood but he was born in London in a poor family of actors.

He is now regarded as the best comic actor in the 20th century.

After playing on stage with his brother, he started with silent films:
The Kid (1921); The Gold Rush (1925).

Then he shot satires: Modern Times (1936) or The Great Dictator (1940) in which he violently mocked Hitler's regime.

He died in Switzerland in 1977.

3. Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
Winston Churchill was a predominant figure in the first half of the 20th century.

He was twice Prime Minister: first during World War II (1940-1945). He was then very important for the victory of the Allies over Germany and Japan and during the Yalta Conference (1945).

He became Prime Minister again from from 1951 to 1955 in a Conservative government.

He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953 thanks to his Memoirs.
He died in 1965 aged 91.

4. Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. He had an unhappy childhood because he was forced to work in a factory to help his family. His father went to prison for debts. Dickens read a lot of books so his life and his readings educated him as a talentuous writer.

He wrote a great quantity of novels that are still very popular today: Oliver Twist (1837), David Copperfield (1849), Little Dorrit (1855).

5. Elizabeth II (the second)
Elizabeth II is the present queen of Great Britain and the daughter of late King George VI. Born in 1926, she started her reign in 1952, and was crowned at Westminster Abbey in 1953.

She married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. Her four children are Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Princes Andrew and Edward.

In Great Britain, the Queen has no real power because important decisions depend on the parliament. But for the English people, she represents the unity of their country.

6. William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
William Shakespeare is regarded as the most famous English playwright.

His life remains a mystery but we know he was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 1564 and was self-taught because he left school quite early.

He went to London and founded the Globe Theatre.
He wrote 34 plays among them Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth... They are all about man, love and ambition.

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