SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Alfred de Musset

Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay was a French dramatist and novelist. Along with his poetry, he is known for writing the autobiographical novel La Confession d'un enfant du siècle. Musset was born in Paris, his family was upper-class but poor and his father worked in various key government positions, but never gave his son any money. His mother came from similar circumstances, her role as a society hostess – for example her drawing-room parties and dinners held in the Musset residence – left a lasting impression on young Alfred. Early indications of Musset's boyhood talents were seen by his fondness for acting impromptu mini-plays based upon episodes from old romance stories he had read. Years elder brother Paul de Musset would preserve these, many other details, for posterity, in a biography on his famous younger brother. Alfred de Musset entered the lycée Henri-IV at the age of nine, where in 1827 he won the Latin essay prize in the Concours général. With the help of Paul Foucher, Victor Hugo's brother-in-law, he began to attend, at the age of 17, the Cénacle, the literary salon of Charles Nodier at the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal.

After attempts at careers in medicine, drawing and piano, he became one of the first Romantic writers, with his first collection of poems, Contes d'Espagne et d'Italie. By the time he reached the age of 20, his rising literary fame was accompanied by a sulphurous reputation fed by his dandy side, he was the librarian of the French Ministry of the Interior under the July Monarchy. His politics were of a Liberal stamp and he was on good terms with the family of Louis Philippe I. During this time he involved himself in polemics during the Rhine crisis of 1840, caused by the French prime minister Adolphe Thiers, who as Minister of the Interior had been Musset's superior. Thiers had demanded that France should own the left bank of the Rhine, as it had under Napoleon, despite the territory's German population; these demands were rejected by German songs and poems, including Nikolaus Becker's Rheinlied, which contained the verse: "Sie sollen ihn nicht haben, den freien, deutschen Rhein...". Musset answered to this with a poem of his own: "Nous l'avons eu, votre Rhin allemand".

The tale of his celebrated love affair with George Sand in 1833–1835 is told from his point of view in his autobiographical novel La Confession d'un Enfant du Siècle, made into a 1999 film, Children of the Century, a 2012 film, Confession of a Child of the Century, is told from her point of view in her Elle et lui. Musset's Nuits traces the emotional upheaval of his love for Sand from early despair to final resignation, he is believed to be the anonymous author of Gamiani, or Two Nights of Excess, a lesbian erotic novel believed to be modeled on Sand. Outside of his relationship to Sand, he was a well-known figure in brothels and is accepted to be the anonymous author-client who beat and humiliated the author and courtesan Céleste de Chabrillan known as La Mogador. Musset was dismissed from his post as librarian by the new minister Ledru-Rollin after the revolution of 1848, he was, appointed librarian of the Ministry of Public Instruction in 1853. On 24 April 1845 Musset received the Légion d'honneur at the same time as Balzac, was elected to the Académie française in 1852 after two failed attempts in 1848 and 1850.

Alfred de Musset died in his sleep in Paris in 1857. The cause was the combination of alcoholism and a longstanding aortic insufficiency. One symptom, noticed by his brother was a bobbing of the head as a result of the amplification of the pulse, he was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. The French poet Arthur Rimbaud was critical of Musset's work. Rimbaud wrote in his Letters of a Seer that Musset did not accomplish anything because he "closed his eyes" before the visions. Director Jean Renoir's La règle du jeu was inspired by Musset's play Les Caprices de Marianne. Henri Gervex's 1878 painting Rolla was based on a poem by De Musset, it was rejected by the jury of the Salon de Paris for immorality, since it features suggestive metaphors in a scene from the poem, with a naked prostitute after having sex with her client, but the controversy helped Gervex's career. Numerous composers wrote works using Musset's poetry during the early 20th century. Georges Bizet's opera Djamileh is based on Musset's story Namouna.

Bizet set Musset's poem "A Une Fleur" for voice and piano. Ruggero Leoncavallo's symphonic poem. Pauline Viardot set Musset's poem "Madrid" for piano as part of her 6 Mélodies; the play La Coupe et les lèvres was the basis of Giacomo Puccini's opera Edgar. Dame Ethel Smyth composed an opera based on Fantasio that premiered in Weimar in 1898; the Welsh composer Morfydd Llwyn Owen wrote song settings for Musset's La Tristesse and Chanson de Fortunio. Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Cielo di settembre, op. 1 for solo piano takes its name from a line of Musset's poem "A quoi rêvent les jeunes filles". The score, in the original publication, is preceded by that line, "Mais vois donc quel beau ciel de septembre…" Lili Boulanger's Pour les funérailles d'un soldat fo

Richard Adam

Richard Adam is an English chartered accountant and businessman associated with the financial management of media and property-related companies. He was a board director of construction and services business Carillion from April 2007 to December 2016. After the company went into liquidation in January 2018, Adam was criticised by a Parliamentary select committees report, the Financial Reporting Council and other regulators started investigations into his conduct. Adam earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Reading. After graduation, Adam became a chartered accountant, joined KPMG Audit in 1982 becoming finance director of International Family Entertainment UK holding the same roles at Hodder Headline plc and Associated British Ports; as finance director, Adam served as a board director of construction and services business Carillion from 2 April 2007 to 31 December 2016. He was succeeded by ex-ABP colleague Zafar Khan, with Carillion since 2011. Adam was one of several former Carillion directors who appeared before Parliamentary select committees in early February 2018, subsequently described as "delusional characters".

As further information about pension issues emerged, directors were described as "contemptuous" of their obligations, with Adam said to have "particular questions to answer," after MPs heard he had described pension payments as a "waste of money". On 26 February 2018, it was reported that Adam had sold £775,921 worth of Carillion shares in March and May 2017 - the latter sale just three months before a Carillion profit warning. On 17 March 2018, it was reported that the Financial Reporting Council's conduct committee would announce an investigation into the conduct of Richard Adam and Zafar Khan; the investigation, confirmed on 19 March 2018, would focus on the preparation and approval of Carillion's financial reports for 2014, 2015 and 2016, the six months to 30 June 2017, as well as provision of other financial information from 2014 to 2017. In June 2018, a Financial Conduct Authority investigation was extended to allegations of insider trading in Carillion shares prior to its trading update on 10 July 2017.

In the final report of the Parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of Carillion, published on 16 May 2018, Adam was criticised, described as "the architect of Carillion’s aggressive accounting policies". The report continued: "He, more than anyone else, would have been aware of the unsustainability of the company’s approach, his voluntary departure at the end of 2016 was, for him timed. He sold all his Carillion shares for £776,000 just before the wheels began publicly coming off and their value plummeted; these were the actions of a man who knew where the company was heading once it was no longer propped up by his accounting tricks."The report recommended that the Insolvency Service should consider whether the former Carillion directors, including Adam, could be disqualified from acting as a director. On 6 August 2018, at the end of "the largest trading liquidation in the UK", the Official Receiver said investigations into the cause of the company's failure, including the conduct of its directors, continued.

Adam disputed the select committees' assertion that he considered that payments into Carillion's pension schemes were a "waste of money". The committees' response said the presented evidence led them to this "inescapable conclusion", "entirely in keeping with the Carillion board’s short-termist, cash-chasing, dividend-plumping approach."In a Channel 4 Dispatches programme aired on 22 August 2018, Adam was criticised by former Carillion head of recruitment Jon Hull for creating "a culture of fear and confusion" and described as "very aloof... controlling". In the same programme, financial analyst Stephen Rawlinson described Adam's approach to the company's internal financial reporting: "When the numbers didn’t come to where he wanted them to be he would say to the management ‘Go back and do the numbers again.’" Responding to the documentary, Adam said he did not recognise these views, told the documentary makers that throughout his time at Carillion all of its accounts were approved by the board and audited.

The parliamentary process and findings have been questioned as lacking in objectivity and thoroughness, treating a complex situation in an incomplete manner. Former Carillion CEO Richard Howson, contends that Carillion was a victim of its public sector clients and that "any analysis as to the causes of the failure of Carillion is not complete without looking at the way in which government and the wider public sector procured services from Carillion and failed to administer payments." Adam was a non-executive director of SSL International plc from November 2003 to October 2010, of Zattikka plc from April 2012 to August 2013, of Wincanton plc from June to September 2014. He was a non-executive director of Countrywide plc from June 2014 to October 2017 and of Countryside Properties plc from April 2015 to October 2017, he was appointed a director of FirstGroup plc in February 2017. After 22.7% of FirstGroup investors voted against appointing Adam as a non-executive director in July 2017, he resigned from the board in September 2017.

28. "Carillion: Responses from Interested Parties to the Tenth Report of the Business and Industrial Strategy Committee and Twelfth Report of the Work and Pensions Committee". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 29 Howson, Richard. "What the MPs Missed". The C

Greyhawk deities

The legion of fictional deities in the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game covers an extensive range of spheres of influence, allowing players to customize the spiritual beliefs and powers of their characters, as well as giving Dungeon Masters a long list of gods from which to design evil temples and minions. Although the Greyhawk campaign world, when it was a home game, started with no specific gods, the value of having deities available for both players and game plot purposes was realized; the number of deities has varied with each version of the campaign world, published, but for many years numbered a few dozen. It has only been since 1999 that the number of gods increased to 200, due to the volume of newly published material, subsequently integrated into the campaign world; when Dungeons & Dragons was developed in the early 1970s by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, one of the archetypal character classes in the original game was the cleric, a character who received divine powers from “the gods”.

However, when Gygax started to build his own campaign world called Greyhawk, one facet of culture that he did not address was organized religion. Since his campaign was built around the needs of lower-level characters, he didn't think specific deities were necessary, since direct interaction between a god and a low-level character was unlikely; some of his players took matters into their own hands, calling upon Norse or Greek gods such as Odin or Zeus, or Conan's Crom in times of dire need. However, some of the players wanted Gygax to create and customize a specific deity so that cleric characters could receive their divine powers from someone less ambiguous than "the gods". Gygax, with tongue in cheek, created two gods: Saint Cuthbert—who brought non-believers around to his point of view with whacks of his cudgel —and Pholtus, whose fanatical followers refused to believe that any other gods existed; because both of these deities represented aspects of Good, Gygax created a few evil deities to provide some villainy.

In Gygax's serialized novella The Gnome Cache, set in Greyhawk, a shrine to St. Cuthbert is mentioned. In 1980, TSR published Gygax's home campaign world as World of Greyhawk. However, Gygax did not include any details of the deities. Several adventure modules were published to support the folio edition, one of them, C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, featured the first deities designed for a World of Greyhawk setting; the adventure was designed to introduce players to the Aztec-like Olman humans of the Amedio Jungle, a subject not covered in the folio edition. The Olman deities—largely drawn from Aztec culture—were Mictlantecuhtli, god of death, darkness and the underworld. However, Gygax did not acknowledge these deities in any of his work on Greyhawk, TSR did not publish any further references or adventures using this setting “orphaning” the Olman culture; the Olman deities were not included in any versions of the Greyhawk campaign setting until they reappeared in 1999 in The Scarlet Brotherhood by Sean K. Reynolds and in 2005 in the extensive list of deities published for the Living Greyhawk campaign.

Lacking any Greyhawk-specific deities in the folio edition, many Dungeon Masters using the World of Greyhawk setting borrowed generic deities from the just-published rulebook Deities and Demigods for their Greyhawk campaigns. However, relief was in sight. In the August 1982 issue of Dragon, Gygax gave advice on how to adapt the 23 non-human deities from Deities and Demigods to the Greyhawk world, he included a description of the first non-human deity designed for Greyhawk, Raxivort. A few months Gygax published a long and detailed five-part article in the November 1982 to March 1983 issues of Dragon that outlined a pantheon of deities custom-made for worship by humans in the world of Greyhawk. In addition to his original Greyhawk deities, St. Cuthbert and Pholtus, Gygax added 17 more deities: Gygax used the hierarchy of deities as set out in the just-published Deities and Demigods rule book: greater god, lesser god, demi-god. Although versions of the campaign setting would assign most of these deities to worship by specific races of humans, at this time they were worshipped by all humans of the Flanaess.

In 1983, the folio edition was replaced by the expanded World of Greyhawk boxed set. Gygax was not only able to include the nineteen new gods from his published Dragon articles, he included 31 new gods, for a total of 50 deities. However, although the material regarding the 19 original deities was reprinted in full, only three of the "new" deities were given a full description: Raxivort and Xan Yae; the remainder of the new deities were listed by name and sphere of influence. All but one of these deities—Raxivort being the exception—was a human deity. By his own admission, Gygax’s vision of Greyhawk was of a human-centred world. In Gygax's original Dragon articles, he had made no mention of racial preferences for any of the gods.