Marguerite Yourcenar

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Marguerite de Crayencour (Yourcenar) was born on June 8, 1903 in Belgium. She died on December 17, 1987 in Maine. She was a short story author, novelist and essayist and one of the first women elected to the French Academy. This highly acclaimed society limits its membership to forty.
Marguerite began writing as a teen when she traveled extensively with her father. She was able to lead a nomadic life due to her inheritance. At the beginning of WWII Marguerite settled in the United States. In 1947 she became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Her first novel Alexis was published in 1929 and Marguerite translated Virginia Woolf's The Waves in 1937. Marguerite's companion Grace Frick was continually by her side until Grace's death in 1979 and was an inspiration for many of Marguerite's writings. Together Grace and Marguerite purchased a home in Maine where they lived for many decades.
In 1951, Marguerite published Memoires de Hadrien about one of the rulers of the Roman Empire. The novel was a great success and received high critical acclaim. Marguerite received the Dutch Erasmus Prize for her contributions to European culture (1983) and in 2003 Belgium issued a postage stamp in Marguerite's honor.

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