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  • l (letter)

    L, twelfth letter of the alphabet. Ancestors of this letter were the Semitic lamedh, which may derive from an earlier symbol representing an ox goad, and the Greek lambda (λ). The form appearing on the Moabite Stone was rounded. Other Greek forms were found in early inscriptions from Attica and

  • L (letter)

    L, twelfth letter of the alphabet. Ancestors of this letter were the Semitic lamedh, which may derive from an earlier symbol representing an ox goad, and the Greek lambda (λ). The form appearing on the Moabite Stone was rounded. Other Greek forms were found in early inscriptions from Attica and

  • l (unit of measurement)

    Litre (l), unit of volume in the metric system, equal to one cubic decimetre (0.001 cubic metre). From 1901 to 1964 the litre was defined as the volume of one kilogram of pure water at 4 °C (39.2 °F) and standard atmospheric pressure; in 1964 the original, present value was reinstated. One litre is

  • L band (frequency band)

    radar: Ballistic missile defense and satellite-surveillance radars: …as Arrow, which employs an L-band (1- to 2-GHz) active-aperture phased-array radar.

  • L brown dwarf (astronomy)

    stellar classification: L brown dwarfs have temperatures between about 1,500 and 2,500 K and have spectral lines caused by alkali metals such as rubidium and sodium and metallic compounds like iron hydride. T brown dwarfs have prominent methane absorption in their spectra and temperatures between about 800…

  • L carrier system (telecommunications)

    telecommunication: Frequency-division multiplexing: …including the American N- and L-carrier coaxial cable systems and analog point-to-point microwave systems. In the L-carrier system a hierarchical combining structure is employed in which 12 voiceband signals are frequency-division multiplexed to form a group signal in the frequency range of 60 to 108 kilohertz. Five group signals are…

  • L fibre (physiology)

    chemoreception: Taste: …sweet taste, as well as receptors preferentially tasting salt and receptors preferentially tasting bitter substances. The taste receptor cells of other animals can often be characterized in similar ways to those of humans, because all animals have the same basic needs in selecting food. In addition, some organisms have other…

  • L Word, The (American television series)

    A.M. Homes: …of the cable television series The L Word and regularly contributed to the periodicals The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

  • L’Albane, Francesco (Italian painter)

    Francesco Albani, Italian painter, one of the 17th-century Bolognese masters trained in the studio of the Carracci. He assisted Guido Reni in a number of major decorative cycles, including that of the Chapel of the Annunciation (1609–12) in the Quirinal Palace and the choir (1612–14) of Santa Maria

  • L’Amour, Louis (American writer)

    Louis L’Amour, American writer, best-selling author of more than 100 books, most of which were formula westerns that were highly popular because of their well-researched portrayals of frontier life. L’Amour, who left school at the age of 15, was a world traveler who mined in the West, sailed aboard

  • L’Anse aux Meadows (site, Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada)

    L’Anse aux Meadows, site on the northern tip of Newfoundland island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, of the first known European settlement in the New World. Norse explorers established a large base there about the year 1000. From there they explored Atlantic Canada in several directions,

  • L’Aquila (Italy)

    L’Aquila, city, capital of Abruzzi region, central Italy. It is situated on a hill above the Aterno River, northeast of Rome. The area was settled by the Sabini, an ancient Italic tribe, after their town Amiternum was destroyed by the Romans and later by the barbarians. The city was founded about

  • L’Aquila earthquake of 2009 (Italy)

    L’Aquila earthquake of 2009, severe earthquake that occurred on April 6, 2009, near the city of L’Aquila in the Abruzzi region of central Italy. The magnitude-6.3 tremor struck at 3:32 am local time, extensively damaging the 13th-century city of L’Aquila, located only about 60 miles (100 km)

  • L’Avanti! (Italian newspaper)

    Benito Mussolini: Early life: …of the official Socialist newspaper, Avanti! (“Forward!”), whose circulation he soon doubled; and as its antimilitarist, antinationalist, and anti-imperialist editor, he thunderously opposed Italy’s intervention in World War I.

  • L’Enfant, Pierre Charles (French engineer and architect)

    Pierre Charles L’Enfant, French-born American engineer, architect, and urban designer who designed the basic plan for Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States. L’Enfant studied art under his father at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture from 1771 until he enlisted in 1776 as

  • L’Engle, Madeleine (American author)

    Madeleine L’Engle, American author of imaginative juvenile literature that is often concerned with such themes as the conflict of good and evil, the nature of God, individual responsibility, and family life. L’Engle attended boarding schools in Europe and the United States and graduated with

  • L’Estrange, Sir Roger (English journalist)

    Sir Roger L’Estrange, one of the earliest of English journalists and pamphleteers, an ardent supporter of the Royalist cause during the English Civil Wars and Commonwealth period (1649–60), who was eventually rewarded for his loyalty by being appointed surveyor of the imprimery. In this position he

  • L’Existentialism est un humanisme (work by Sartre)

    ethics: Existentialism: …one work, a pamphlet entitled Existentialism Is a Humanism (1946), Sartre backed away from so radical a subjectivism by suggesting a version of Kant’s idea that moral judgments be applied universally. He does not reconcile this view with conflicting statements elsewhere in his writings, and it is doubtful whether it…

  • L’H?pital’s rule (mathematics)

    L’H?pital’s rule, in analysis, procedure of differential calculus for evaluating indeterminate forms such as 0/0 and ∞/∞ when they result from an attempt to find a limit. It is named for the French mathematician Guillaume-Fran?ois-Antoine, marquis de L’H?pital, who purchased the formula from his

  • L’H?pital, Michel de (French statesman and lawyer)

    Michel de L’Hospital, statesman, lawyer, and humanist who, as chancellor of France from 1560 to 1568, was instrumental in the adoption by the French government of a policy of toleration toward the Huguenots. L’Hospital studied law at Toulouse but was forced into exile because of his father’s

  • L’Hospital, Michel de (French statesman and lawyer)

    Michel de L’Hospital, statesman, lawyer, and humanist who, as chancellor of France from 1560 to 1568, was instrumental in the adoption by the French government of a policy of toleration toward the Huguenots. L’Hospital studied law at Toulouse but was forced into exile because of his father’s

  • L’?le (France)

    Lille, city, capital of Nord département and of the Hauts-de-France région, northern France, situated on the De?le River, 136 miles (219 km) north-northeast of Paris, and 9 miles (14 km) from the Belgian frontier by road. Lille (often written L’?le [“The Island”] until the 18th century) began as a

  • L’Immoraliste (work by Gide)

    The Immoralist, novella by André Gide, published as L’Immoraliste in 1902, one of the tales Gide called récits. Inspired by Nietszchean philosophy, Gide undertook the work as an examination of the point at which concern for the self must be superseded by moral principles based on empathy for

  • L’Intelligence des fleurs (work by Maeterlinck)

    Maurice Maeterlinck: …and L’Intelligence des fleurs (1907; The Intelligence of Flowers), in which Maeterlinck sets out his philosophy of the human condition. Maeterlinck was made a count by the Belgian king in 1932.

  • L’Isle-Adam, Villiers de (French writer)

    Paul Verlaine: Life.: …talented contemporaries, among them Mallarmé, Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, and Anatole France. His poems began to appear in their literary reviews; the first, “Monsieur Prudhomme,” in 1863. Three years later the first series of Le Parnasse contemporain, a collection of pieces by contemporary poets (hence the term Parnassian), contained eight contributions…

  • L’Obel, Matthias de (Flemish-born physician and botanist)

    Matthias de L’Obel, Flemish-born physician and botanist whose Stirpium adversaria nova (1570; written in collaboration with Pierre Pena) was a milestone in modern botany. It argued that botany and medicine must be based on thorough, exact observation. L’Obel studied at the University of Montpellier

  • L’Opium des intellectuels (work by Aron)

    Raymond Aron: …were L’Opium des intellectuels (1955; The Opium of the Intellectuals), which criticized left-wing conformism and the totalitarian tendencies of Marxist regimes. Aron himself became a strong supporter of the Western alliance. In La Tragédie algérienne (1957; “The Algerian Tragedy”) he voiced his support for Algerian independence, and in République impériale:…

  • L’Oréal SA (French company)

    Liliane Bettencourt: …executive and heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics fortune.

  • L’ubercy (Russia)

    Lyubertsy, city, Moscow oblast (region), Russia. It lies in the greenbelt, southeast of Moscow city. Before the October Revolution in 1917 it was an agricultural centre, but its position at an important railway junction made it an attractive site for industry. In the early Soviet period, the

  • L’uomo è forte (novel by Alvaro)

    Corrado Alvaro: …1934, L’uomo è forte (1938; Man Is Strong) is a defense of the individual against the oppression of totalitarianism. Alvaro’s other novels include Vent’anni (1930; “Twenty Years”), Itinerario italiano (1933; “Italian Route”), L’età breve (1946; “The Brief Era”), and Tutto è accaduto (1961; “All Has Happened”).

  • L-1011 TriStar (aircraft)

    history of flight: Airliners: …with its technologically more advanced L-1011 TriStar. McDonnell Douglas sold 446 DC-10s, while Lockheed sold 250 TriStars, with both companies losing massive amounts of money. McDonnell Douglas belatedly struggled on with the MD-11, an improved DC-10, while continuing the DC-9 as the MD-80 and MD-90 series. When Boeing acquired the…

  • L-alanine (chemical compound)

    alanine: …one of which, L-alanine, or alpha-alanine (α-alanine), is a constituent of proteins. An especially rich source of L-alanine is silk fibroin, from which the amino acid was first isolated in 1879. Alanine is one of several so-called nonessential amino acids for birds and mammals; i.e., they can synthesize it from…

  • L-dopa (chemical compound)

    Levodopa, Organic compound (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) from which the body makes dopamine, a neurotransmitter deficient in persons with parkinsonism. When given orally in large daily doses, levodopa can lessen the effects of the disease. However, it becomes less effective over time and causes

  • L-head engine (engineering)

    gasoline engine: Cylinder block: …which has largely replaced the L-head type, has its valves entirely in the cylinder head. The cylinder block of the L-head engine is extended to one side of the cylinder bores, with the valve seats and passages for inlet and exhaust, together with the valve guides, formed in this extension…

  • L-leucine (amino acid)

    Leucine, an amino acid obtainable by the hydrolysis of most common proteins. Among the first of the amino acids to be discovered (1819), in muscle fibre and wool, it is present in large proportions (about 15 percent) in hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells) and is one of

  • L-S coupling (physics)

    spectroscopy: Total orbital angular momentum and total spin angular momentum: …the assignment is called the L-S coupling, or Russell-Saunders coupling (after the astronomer Henry Norris Russell and the physicist Frederick A. Saunders, both of the United States).

  • L-tetraiodothyronine (hormone)

    Thyroxine, one of the two major hormones secreted by the thyroid gland (the other is triiodothyronine). Thyroxine’s principal function is to stimulate the consumption of oxygen and thus the metabolism of all cells and tissues in the body. Thyroxine is formed by the molecular addition of iodine to

  • L-thyroxine (hormone)

    Thyroxine, one of the two major hormones secreted by the thyroid gland (the other is triiodothyronine). Thyroxine’s principal function is to stimulate the consumption of oxygen and thus the metabolism of all cells and tissues in the body. Thyroxine is formed by the molecular addition of iodine to

  • L-triiodothyronine (hormone)

    therapeutics: Hormones: hormones include thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which regulate tissue metabolism. Natural desiccated thyroid produced from beef and pork and the synthetic derivatives levothyroxine and liothyronine are used in replacement therapy to treat hypothyroidism that results from any cause.

  • L-type star (astronomy)

    stellar classification: …expanded to include spectral types L, T, and Y.

  • L-tyrosine (amino acid)

    catecholamine: …synthesized from the amino acid l-tyrosine according to the following sequence: tyrosine → dopa (dihydroxyphenylalanine) → dopamine → norepinephrine (noradrenaline) → epinephrine (adrenaline). Catecholamines are synthesized in the brain, in the adrenal medulla, and by some sympathetic nerve fibres. The particular catecholamine that is synthesized by a nerve cell, or…

  • L-wave (seismology)

    infrasonics: …longitudinal body wave; and the L-wave, which propagates along the boundary of stratified mediums. L-waves, which are of great importance in earthquake engineering, propagate in a similar way to water waves, at low velocities that are dependent on frequency. S-waves are transverse body waves and thus can only be propagated…

  • L. Straus and Sons (American company)

    Straus family: …they established the merchandising firm L. Straus and Sons. In 1888 Isidor and Nathan acquired a percentage of R.H. Macy and Company, and by 1896 they had gained full ownership of the department store. Isidor served for a short time in the U.S. House of Representatives (1894–95) and in later…

  • L. T. (American football player)

    LaDainian Tomlinson, American professional gridiron football player who was one of the most productive running backs in National Football League (NFL) history. Tomlinson attended high school in Waco, Texas, where he earned second-team all-state honours his senior season but was mostly overlooked by

  • L.A. (American musician and producer)

    New jack swing: The key producers were L.A., Babyface, and Teddy Riley, who crafted romantic songs for the dance floor. L.A. (Antonio Reid, whose nickname was derived from his allegiance to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team) and Babyface (youthful-looking Kenneth Edmonds) had been members of the Deele, a group based in…

  • L.A. Confidential (film by Hanson [1997])

    film noir: The legacy of film noir: …the genre are Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential (1997), a bleak story of corrupt cops, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), a similarly dark story inspired by the crime novels of James M. Cain. Both films are presented in classic film noir style, the latter in…

  • L.A. Confidential (novel by Ellroy)

    James Ellroy: 2006), The Big Nowhere (1988), L.A. Confidential (1990; film 1997), and White Jazz (1992). Perfidia (2014) was the first volume in his second L.A. Quartet. The novel, which chronologically precedes the events of the earlier series, features many of the same characters and evokes a similarly penumbral view of Los…

  • L.A. Law (American television program)

    Steven Bochco: Hill Street Blues (1981–87), L.A. Law (1986–94), and NYPD Blue (1993–2005), and he won several Emmy Awards for his scripts. His later projects included the legal dramas Murder One (1995–97), Philly (2001–02), Raising the Bar (2008–09), and Murder in the First (2014–16).

  • L.A. Quartet (series by Ellroy)

    James Ellroy: …novels that constitute his first L.A. Quartet series: The Black Dahlia (1987; film 2006), The Big Nowhere (1988), L.A. Confidential (1990; film 1997), and White Jazz (1992). Perfidia (2014) was the first volume in his second L.A. Quartet. The novel,

  • L.A. Story (film by Jackson [1991])

    Steve Martin: … (1981), The Lonely Guy (1984), L.A. Story (1991), and Leap of Faith (1992), and he maintained his popular appeal in such films as Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Roxanne (1987), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), Parenthood (1989),

  • L.E.L. (British author)

    Letitia Elizabeth Landon, English poet and novelist who, at a time when women were conventionally restricted in their themes, wrote of passionate love. She is remembered for her high-spirited social life and mysterious death and for verse that reveals her lively intelligence and emotional

  • L.I.R.R. (American railway)

    Long Island Rail Road Company, American railroad on Long Island, N.Y., and one of the few in the world still operating under its original name. Incorporated in 1834, it opened its main line to Greenport, at the eastern end of Long Island, in 1844. Over the years it acquired other Long Island

  • l.u.b. (mathematics)

    foundations of mathematics: Impredicative constructions: … of real numbers has a least upper bound a, one proceeds as follows. (For this purpose, it will be convenient to think of a real number, following Dedekind, as a set of rationals that contains all the rationals less than any element of the set.) One lets x ? a…

  • L4 carrier system (telecommunications)

    telecommunication: Frequency-division multiplexing: In the L4 system, developed in the 1960s, six master groups were combined to form a jumbo group signal of 3,600 voiceband signals.

  • La (chemical element)

    Lanthanum (La), chemical element, a rare-earth metal of Group 3 of the periodic table, that is the prototype of the lanthanide series of elements. Lanthanum is a ductile and malleable silvery white metal that is soft enough to be cut with a knife. It is the second most reactive of the rare-earth

  • LA (British organization)

    library: Training institutes: …that were conducted by the Library Association. Today there are many other schools, most in polytechnic institutes, where the Library Association’s own standards continue to influence the curriculum. The association’s successive syllabi have had considerable importance for countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, and the Caribbean states.

  • La Alianza Federal de Mercedes (American organization)

    Reies Tijerina: In February 1963 Tijerina established La Alianza Federal de Mercedes (Federal Alliance of Land Grants). La Alianza’s first convention included 800 delegates representing 48 New Mexico land grants and voted to focus on two major grants in northern New Mexico: the Tierra Amarilla and the San Joaquín del Río de…

  • La Bamba (recording by Valens)

    Ritchie Valens: … written for an ex-girlfriend, and “La Bamba,” Valens’s best-remembered recording, a rock-and-roll reworking of a traditional Mexican wedding song, sung in Spanish (though Valens hardly spoke the language). He performed the Little Richard-inspired “Ooh! My Head” in the film Go, Johnny, Go (1959). Valens left a small legacy of recordings,…

  • La Barca (city, Mexico)

    La Barca, city, east-central Jalisco estado (state), west-central Mexico. It is on the Lerma River, which forms the border between Jalisco and Michoacán states, about 15 miles (24 km) east of its entry into Lake Chapala. Founded in 1553 as Santa Mónica de la Barca at a site called Chichinahuatengo,

  • La Barre, Jean-Fran?ois Lefebvre, chevalier de (French noble)

    French literature: The Enlightenment: …of Jean Calas and the chevalier de La Barre.

  • La Baule (resort, France)

    La Baule-Escoublac, fashionable resort, Loire-Atlantique département, Pays de la Loire région, western France. It lies along the Atlantic coast near the mouth of the Loire River, west of Saint-Nazaire. Facing south and protected from the north wind by 1,000 acres (400 hectares) of dune-stabilizing

  • La Baule-Escoublac (resort, France)

    La Baule-Escoublac, fashionable resort, Loire-Atlantique département, Pays de la Loire région, western France. It lies along the Atlantic coast near the mouth of the Loire River, west of Saint-Nazaire. Facing south and protected from the north wind by 1,000 acres (400 hectares) of dune-stabilizing

  • La Baume le Blanc, Louise-Fran?oise de (French mistress)

    Louise-Fran?oise de La Baume le Blanc, duchess de La Vallière, mistress of King Louis XIV (reigned 1643–1715) from 1661 to 1667. La Vallière, the daughter of a military governor, was appointed maid of honour in 1661 to Louis XIV’s sister-in-law Henrietta Anne of England, Duchess d’Orléans. Although

  • La Beckwith, Byron De (American assassin)

    Byron De La Beckwith, American white supremacist (born Nov. 9, 1920, Colusa, Calif.—died Jan. 21, 2001, Jackson, Miss.), was the convicted murderer of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. On June 12, 1963, Evers, the Mississippi field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of

  • La bella estate (work by Pavese)

    Cesare Pavese: …La bella estate (1949; in The Political Prisoner, 1955). Shortly after receiving the Strega Prize for it, Pavese committed suicide in a hotel room.

  • La Belle discothèque bombing (terrorist attack, West Berlin, Germany [1986])

    1986 West Berlin discotheque bombing, attack carried out on April 5, 1986, in West Berlin, in which Libyan agents detonated a bomb at the La Belle discotheque, a nightclub frequented by U.S. soldiers stationed in Germany during the Cold War. The bomb, packed with plastic explosives and shrapnel,

  • La Blanca (Algeria)

    Oran: The contemporary city: The old Spanish-Arab-Turkish city, called La Blanca, lies west of the ravine on a hill. The newer city, called La Ville Nouvelle and built by the French after 1831, occupies the terraces on the east bank of the ravine. La Blanca is crowned by the Turkish citadel of Santa Cruz,…

  • La Boétie, étienne de (French author)

    Michel de Montaigne: Life: …he made the acquaintance of étienne de la Boétie, a meeting that was one of the most significant events in Montaigne’s life. Between the slightly older La Boétie (1530–63), an already distinguished civil servant, humanist scholar, and writer, and Montaigne an extraordinary friendship sprang up, based on a profound intellectual…

  • La Bomb(a): The Latin Pop Explosion

    Hispanics were on their way to becoming the largest ethnic minority in the United States by the first decades of the 21st century, but their music was already tops in 1999. The year saw a proliferation of Top 40 hits by Latino artists in 1999 and an explosion of Latin pop music. At the forefront

  • La Bourdonnais, Bertrand-Fran?ois Mahé, comte de (French officer)

    Bertrand-Fran?ois Mahé count de la Bourdonnais, French naval commander who played an important part in the struggle between the French and the British for control of India. La Bourdonnais entered the service of the French East India Company as a lieutenant at 19, was promoted to captain in 1724,

  • La Brea Tar Pits (tar pits, California, United States)

    La Brea Tar Pits, tar (Spanish brea) pits, in Hancock Park (Rancho La Brea), Los Angeles, California, U.S. The area was the site of “pitch springs” oozing crude oil that was used by local Indians for waterproofing. Gaspar de Portolá’s expedition in 1769 explored the area, which encompasses about 20

  • La Bruyère, Jean de (French author)

    Jean de La Bruyère, French satiric moralist who is best known for one work, Les Caractères de Théophraste traduits du grec avec Les Caractères ou les moeurs de ce siècle (1688; The Characters, or the Manners of the Age, with The Characters of Theophrastus), which is considered to be one of the

  • La Calprenède, Gaultier de Coste, Seigneur de (French author)

    Gaultier de Coste, seigneur de La Calprenède, author of sentimental, adventurous, pseudohistorical romances that were immensely popular in 17th-century France. To this rambling and diffuse genre he imparted vigour through swift-moving plots. After studying at Toulouse, La Calprenède entered the

  • La Cava, Gregory (American director)

    Gregory La Cava, American film director best known for his screwball comedies, especially My Man Godfrey (1936) and Stage Door (1937). La Cava attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League of New York. He later worked as a cartoonist for newspapers such as the Evening World, and

  • La Ceiba (Honduras)

    La Ceiba, city, northern Honduras. It lies along the Gulf of Honduras, in a lush, hot valley at the foot of 7,989-foot (2,435-metre) Mount Bonito. Developed in the late 19th century as a banana port, La Ceiba is one of the country’s major Caribbean ports. Besides bananas, the port handles

  • la ch’in (musical instrument)

    Yueqin, Chinese lute, one of a family of flat, round-bodied lutes found in Central and East Asia. The yueqin, which evolved from the ruan, has a length of some 18 inches (about 45 cm), with a short neck and a round resonator that is some 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. It has two pairs of silk

  • La Chaise, Fran?ois (French priest)

    Père-Lachaise Cemetery: King Louis XIV’s confessor, Father Fran?ois de La Chaise d’Aix (commonly called le Père La Chaise), resided there, and the cemetery’s name derives from him. The Jesuits renamed the hill Mont-Louis in honour of the king, who reportedly visited the area during times of unrest, as during the Fronde.…

  • La Chalotais, Louis-René de Caradeuc de (French magistrate)

    Louis-René de Caradeuc de La Chalotais, French magistrate who led the Breton Parlement (high court of justice) in a protracted legal battle against the authority of the government of King Louis XV. The struggle resulted in the purging and suspensions (1771–74) of the Parlements. La Chalotais became

  • La Chapelle (Louisiana, United States)

    Abbeville, city, seat (1854) of Vermilion parish, southern Louisiana, U.S., on the Vermilion River, 20 miles (32 km) south-southwest of Lafayette. It was founded in 1843 by a Capuchin missionary, Père Antoine Desire Mégret, who patterned it on a French Proven?al village. First called La Chapelle

  • La Chapelle-aux-Saints (anthropological and archaeological site, France)

    La Chapelle-aux-Saints, cave site near the village of La Chapelle-aux-Saints in central France where the bones of an adult Neanderthal male were found in 1908. Studies of the remains published in 1911–13 by French anthropologist Marcellin Boule became the classic early 20th-century description of

  • La Chaussée, Pierre-Claude Nivelle de (French playwright)

    Pierre-Claude Nivelle de La Chaussée, French playwright who created the comédie larmoyante (“tearful comedy”), a verse-drama form merging tearful, sentimental scenes with an invariably happy ending. These sentimental comedies, which were precursors of Denis Diderot’s drames bourgeois, were

  • La Chétardie, Jacques-Joachim Trotti, Marquis de (French diplomat)

    Jacques-Joachim Trotti, marquis de La Chétardie, French officer and diplomat who helped raise the princess Elizabeth to the throne of Russia. La Chétardie entered French military service at an early age and rose through the ranks, becoming lieutenant (1721), major (1730), and colonel (1734). He

  • Là ci darem la mano (song by Mozart)

    Don Giovanni: Background and context: …in the well-known duet “Là ci darem la mano” in Act I. As the duet begins, Giovanni and his prey have alternate verses, but, as the conquest ensues, they begin to blend in harmony, the music reflecting their emotional unity.

  • La Colombière, Blessed Claude (French priest)

    Blessed Claude La Colombière, Jesuit who assisted St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in establishing the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Educated by the Jesuits of Lyon, he entered their novitiate at Avignon in 1658 and subsequently studied theology at the Collège de Clermont, Paris. After ordination he was

  • La Colombière, Claude de (French priest)

    Blessed Claude La Colombière, Jesuit who assisted St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in establishing the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Educated by the Jesuits of Lyon, he entered their novitiate at Avignon in 1658 and subsequently studied theology at the Collège de Clermont, Paris. After ordination he was

  • La Condamine, Charles-Marie de (French naturalist and mathematician)

    Charles-Marie de La Condamine, French naturalist, mathematician, and adventurer who accomplished the first scientific exploration of the Amazon River. After finishing his basic education in Paris, La Condamine embarked on a military career. He left the army for a brief stint (1730–31) of scientific

  • La Confession d’un enfant du siècle (work by Musset)

    Alfred de Musset: …d’un enfant du siècle (1836; The Confession of a Child of the Century), if not entirely trustworthy, presents a striking picture of Musset’s youth as a member of a noble family, well-educated but ruled by his emotions in a period when all traditional values were under attack. While still an…

  • La Coru?a, Battle of (Spanish history [1809])

    Sir John Moore: In the Battle of La Coru?a (Jan. 16, 1809), Moore died of his wounds after the French had been repulsed. “I hope my country will do me justice,” he said. These hopes were not fulfilled; he was widely excoriated for retreating. But, in fact, he had secured…

  • La Crosse (Wisconsin, United States)

    La Crosse, city, seat (1851) of La Crosse county, western Wisconsin, U.S. It lies along the Mississippi River at the influx of the La Crosse River, about 130 miles (210 km) northwest of Madison. The settlement developed around a trading post (1841) on a site that French explorers named Prairie La

  • La Crosse Railroad (railway, United States)

    Russell Sage: …lent some money to the La Crosse Railroad in Wisconsin. To save his loans, he advanced more money and, in 1857, he became vice president with a major share of the stock. When the railroad extended into the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul system, Sage made a profit on his…

  • La Curne de Sainte-Palaye, Jean-Baptiste de (French medievalist and lexicographer)

    Jean-Baptiste de La Curne de Sainte-Palaye, French medievalist and lexicographer, who planned and began publication of a comprehensive glossary of Old French. The son of a gentleman of the household of the duc d’Orléans, La Curne was elected, because of the value of his first works, to the Académie

  • La Débacle (work by Zola)

    émile Zola: Life: His novel La Débacle (1892), which was openly critical of the French army and government actions during the Franco-German War (1870–71), drew vitriolic criticism from French and Germans alike. Despite Zola’s undisputed prominence, he was never elected to the French Academy, although he was nominated on no…

  • La Esperanza (Honduras)

    La Esperanza, town, southwestern Honduras, at an elevation of 4,951 feet (1,509 metres) above sea level in the Sierra de Opalaca. It was founded in 1848 adjacent to the Indian settlement of Intibucá and was elevated to city status and department capital in 1883. Some of the surrounding forests have

  • La Estrada (town, Spain)

    A Estrada, town, Pontevedra provincia (province), in the comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) of Galicia, northwestern Spain. It lies in a densely populated mountainous area about 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Santiago de Compostela. Its industries include lumbering and processing of dairy

  • La Farge, John (American painter)

    John La Farge, American painter, muralist, and stained-glass designer. After graduating from St. Mary’s College in Maryland, La Farge studied law, but in 1856 he went to Europe to study art. He worked independently, studying briefly in Paris with Thomas Couture and coming under the influence of the

  • La Farge, Oliver (American author and anthropologist)

    Oliver La Farge, American anthropologist, short-story writer, and novelist who acted as a spokesman for Native Americans through his political actions and his fiction. At Harvard University La Farge pursued his interest in American Indian culture, specializing in anthropology and archaeological

  • La Farge, Oliver Hazard Perry (American author and anthropologist)

    Oliver La Farge, American anthropologist, short-story writer, and novelist who acted as a spokesman for Native Americans through his political actions and his fiction. At Harvard University La Farge pursued his interest in American Indian culture, specializing in anthropology and archaeological

  • La Farina, Giuseppe (Italian revolutionary, writer, and historian)

    Giuseppe La Farina, Italian revolutionary, writer, and leader and historian of the Risorgimento. The son of a Sicilian magistrate and scholar, La Farina received a law degree in 1835 and soon became involved with a secret committee for Italian unity; he was forced into exile after it attempted an

  • La Fayette, Gilbert Motier de (marshal of France)

    Gilbert Motier de La Fayette, marshal of France during the Hundred Years’ War and noted adviser to King Charles VII. After serving in Italy under Marshal Jean le Meingre Boucicaut in 1409, he became steward of the Bourbonnais. In the wars with England, Jean I, duc de Bourbon, made him lieutenant

  • La Fayette, Madame de (French author)

    Marie-Madeleine, comtesse de La Fayette, French writer whose La Princesse de Clèves is a landmark of French fiction. In Paris during the civil wars of the Fronde, young Mlle de la Vergne was brought into contact with Madame de Sévigné, now famous for her letters. She also met a leading political

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