In her later years, Berthe Antonine Mayné would tell her nephew a fascinating and romantic story. In particular, Mayné claimed, she had once been the lover of a millionaire – not only that, but she had also taken a trip with him on the RMS Titanic. And given the unlikeliness of that tale, it’s perhaps no surprise that the nephew didn’t believe Mayné. However, as it turns out, the old woman was indeed telling the truth.

Image: The Candian Press Archive via Elite Readers

And Mayné’s story begins in Ixelles – one of the constituent parts of Brussels – where she was born back in 1887. Then, after she grew up, she began to grace the Belgian capital’s stages as nightclub singer Bella Vielly. And it seems that she actually earned some success in her field, too.

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