University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Marguerite Yourcenar collection, 1984-1995

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

The collection include articles, a program invitation to a play adapted from her work (in French), and a brochure about “Petite Plaisance”, her home in Bar Harbor.

Biographical/Historical Note

Marguerite Yourcenar was born in 1903 Brussels, Belgium. Yourcenar was an author, poet, playwright, essayist, and translator of ancient Greek poetry whose work focused on ancient Rome and Greece. Yourcenar traveled to the U.S. in 1937 and stayed on while France was occupied by the Germans. In 1938 she met Grace Frick, her lifelong partner until Frick’s death in 1979. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1947, and lived in Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island. Her works include Memoirs of Hadrian (1951) and The Abyss (1968). She received numerous honors for her work, including the French Academy’s Grand Prix de Litterature (1977), an honorary degree from Bowdoin College (1968), and the medal of the Commander of the French Legion of Honor (1986). In 1980, she became the first woman and the second American citizen to be elected into the French Academy. She died on December 17, 1987, in a hospital near her home in Maine.