This Italian postcard promotes a series of lectures on the subject of four female authors:


The first of whom is the late French author, essayist and poet, Marguerite Yourcenar, a woman considered one of the finest writers in the French language, and the first female member to be elected to the Académie Française (1980).


Illustration taken from an article published by the New York Review of Books

Marguerite Yourcenar (real name Marguerite Antoinette Jeanne Marie Ghislaine Cleenewerck de Crayencour) was born in Belgium in 1903, but following the outbreak of World War II, lived most of her adult life in America after being invited there by her lover, the literary scholar Grace Frick.


  Grace was subsequently to become Marguerite’s lifelong companion and they shared a house together, first in Hartford, Connecticut, then in Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Yourcenar’s other lifelong companions were her typewriters …



Royal Futura 800?


Olympia SM7?

Yourcenar’s most acclaimed work, written over several decades, is the novel Mémoires d’Hadrien (first published in France in 1951), in which Yourcenar recreates the life and death of one of the great rulers of the ancient world, the Roman Emperor, Hadrian.


Yourcenar died on the 17 December 1987 (aged 84) in Northeast Harbor, Maine, USA. Her house on Mount Desert Island, Petite Plaisance, is now a museum dedicated to her memory.

Villa Marguerite Yourcenar à Saint Jans Cappel

Yourcenar is buried across the sound in Somesville, Maine.


Photograph courtesy of the Maine Historical Society