France's most exclusive literary club decides whether to break a 344-year-old taboo and elect a woman into the '40 Immortals' of the Academic Francaise. Here, Academic candidate Marguerite Yourcenar glances at one of her books in her Maine home. Yourcenar, whose best seller The Memoirs of Hadrian has been published in 16 languages, is also a noted playwright, essayist and translator of ancient Greek poetry.
Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987), French writer, at the French Academy, Paris, 1981. (Photo by Jean-Regis Rouston/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)