My history hero: Guillaume Apollinaire (1880–1918)

Guillaume Apollinaire was a poet and writer who played an important role in the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century. Francine Stock nominates him as her history hero...

Guillaume Apollinaire and his wife, Jacqueline Kolb, on the terrace of the boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris, France, in 1918. (Photo by adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the April 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Guillaume Apollinaire spent most of his adult life in Paris, where he published a number of volumes of poetry while befriending and promoting several leading lights in the city’s art scene. After war broke out in 1914, Apollinaire served in the French infantry. In 1916 he was wounded and subsequently discharged, returning to Paris and his literary work for the last two years of his life.

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