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Alhan-Despreaux, Louise Rosalie

ALHAN-DESPREAUX, LOUISE ROSALIE (1810-1856), French actress, was "discovered" by Talma at Brussels in 1820, when she played Joas with him in Athalie. At his suggestion she changed her surname, Ross, for her mother's maiden name, and, as Mlle. Despreaux, was engaged for children's parts at the Comedie Francaise. At the same time she studied at the Conservatoire. By 1825 she had taken the second prize for comedy, and was engaged to play inigenue parts at the Comeedie Francaise, where her first appearance in this capacity was as Jenny in L'Argent on the 8th of December 1826. In 1831 the director of the Gymnase succeeded in persuading her to join his company. Her six years at this theatre, during which she married Allan, an actor in the company, were a succession of triumphs. She was then engaged at the French theatre at St Petersburg. Returning to Paris, she brought with her, as Legouve says, a thing she had unearthed, through a Russian translation, a little comedy never acted till she took it up, a production half-forgotten, and esteemed by those who knew it as a pleasing piece of work in the Marivaux style-Un Caprice by Alfred de Musset, which she had played with success in St Petersburg. Her selection of this piece for her reappearance at the Theatre Francaise (1847) laid the corner-stone of Musset's lasting fame as a dramatist. In the following year his comedy Il ne faut jurer de rien was acted at the same theatre, and thus led to the production of his finer plays. Among plays by other authors in which Mme. Allan won special laurels at the Theatre Francaise. were Par droit de conquete, Peril en la demeure, La joie fait peur, and Lady Tartuffe. In the last, with a part of only fifty lines, and playing by the very side of the great Rachel, she yet held her own as an actress of the first rank. Mme. Allan died in Paris, in the height of her popularity, in March 1856.

/NH-CH-NH-CO-NH2 ALLANTOIN, C4H6N4O3 or CO | \NH-CO the diureide of glyoxylic acid. It is found in the allantoic liquid of the cow, and in the urine of sucking calves. It can be obtained by the oxidation of uric acid by means of lead dioxide, manganese dioxide, ozone or potassium permanganate:

C5H4N4O3 + H2O + O = C4H6N4O3 + CO2.

It has been synthesized by E. Grimaux by heating one part of glyoxylic acid with two parts of urea for ten hours at 100 deg. C.: 2CO(NH2)2 + CH(OH)2COOH = 3H2O + C4H6N4O3. It forms glancing prisms of neutral reaction slightly soluble in water. On standing with concentrated potassium hydroxide solution it gives potassium allantoate C4H7N4O4K. On heating with water it undergoes hydrolysis into urea and allanturic acid C3H4O3N2. It is reduced by sodium amalgam to glycouril C4H6N4O2, whilst with hydriodic acid it yields urea and hydantoin C3H4N2O2. Hot concentrated sulphuric acid also decomposes allantoin, with production of ammonia, and carbon monoxide and dioxide. By dry distillation it gives ammonium cyanide.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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