BAR HARBOR, Me. — Marguerite Yourcenar, one of the 20th Century's great writers in the French language and the first woman admitted to the Academie Francaise, has died at 84.
She died Thursday night of complications from a stroke that hospitalized her five or six weeks ago, said Mount Desert Island Hospital nursing supervisor J. E. Murley.
Jean d'Ormesson, a fellow member of the Academie Francaise, said that after Jean-Paul Sartre and Louis Aragon, Ms. Yourcenar was the best representative of French literature in the world.
She was an erudite author of historical novels set in a wide variety of countries and cultures.
Best-known for the 1951 novel "The Memoirs of Hadrian," about the Roman emperor, and "L'Oeuvre Noir" (The Abyss), about Europe in the 16th Century, Ms. Yourcenar was applauded by critics for her independent judgment and her impassioned inquiry into the human condition.