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Famous Like Me > Writer > Y > Marguerite Yourcenar

Profile of Marguerite Yourcenar on Famous Like Me

Name: Marguerite Yourcenar  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 8th June 1903
Place of Birth: Brussels, Belgium
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
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Marguerite Yourcenar was the pseudonym of French novelist, Marguerite Cleenewerck de Crayencour (June 8, 1903 - December 17, 1987). Yourcenar was born in Brussels, Belgium, and educated privately to a prodigious standard at her father's estate in northern France. Her mother died ten days after Marguerite was born due to complications. Yourcenar read Racine and Aristophanes by the age of eight and her father taught her Latin at ten, and Greek at twelve.

Her first novel Alexis was published in 1929. Her intimate friend and companion, the translator Grace Frick invited her to America, where she lectured in comparative literature in New York City. In 1951 she published, in France, the French-language novel Mémoires d'Hadrien (translated as Hadrian's Memoirs), which she had been writing with pauses for a decade. The novel was an immediate success and met with great critical acclaim. In this novel Yourcenar recreated the life and death of one of the great rulers of the ancient world, the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who writes a long letter to Marcus Aurelius, his successor and adoptive son. The Emperor meditates on his past, describes his triumphs and love for Antinous, his philosophy. This novel has become a modern classic, a standard against which fictional recreations of Antiquity are measured.

Yourcenar was elected as the first woman to the Académie française. One of the respected writers in French language, she published many novels, essays, poetry, and three volumes of memoirs.

Yourcenar lived much of her life at Petite Plaisance in Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine. Petite Plaisance is now a museum dedicated to her memory.


  • Le jardin des chimères (1921)
  • Alexis ou le traité du vain combat (1929)
  • La nouvelle Eurydice (1931)
  • Feux (prose poem, 1936)
  • Nouvelles orientales (short stories, 1938)
  • Les songes et les sorts (1938)
  • Le coup de grâce (1939)
  • Mémoires d'Hadrien (1951)
  • Électre ou La chute des masques (1954)
  • L'Œuvre au noir (novel, 1968, Prix Femina 1968)
  • Souvenirs pieux (1974)
  • Archives du Nord (1977)
  • Mishima ou la vision du vide (essay, 1980)
  • Quoi? L'Éternité (1988)

External link

  • Yourcenar's life, with clear references to her sexual preferences.

Preceded by:
Roger Caillois
Seat 3
Académie française
Succeeded by:
Jean-Denis Bredin

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Marguerite Yourcenar