Woman writer ushered in at Academie Francaise

Marguerite Yourcenar, a Belgian- born writer who lives in the United States, became the first woman admitted to the Academie Francaise since its foundation as a shrine of the French language in 1635. Miss Yourcenar was received under the 17th-century dome of the Academy wearing a flowing velvet cape and muslin hood adapted from the traditional male frockcoat. Her election had been hotly debated by the Academy's 39 other members, who range from French Justice Minister Alain Peyrefitte to Romanian palywright Eugene lonesco. Miss Yourcenar is the author of best-selling works including "Hadri an's Memoirs" and "Work in Black."

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