Born Marguerite de Crayencour to a family of Belgian origin, Marguerite at age eighteen took as her pen name Yourcenar, an anagram of her actual name, which also became her legal name when she moved to the United States. Although Yourcenar never earned a university degree, she was trained in classics from an early age and knew Latin and Greek. In 1937, after meeting Virginia Woolf concerning a translation of Woolf’s novel The Waves, Yourcenar met Grace Frick in Paris. After moving to the United States in 1939, Marguerite and Grace lived together until the latter’s death in 1979. Grace translated many of Marguerite’s works into English, and her connections with Sarah Lawrence College procured for her companion the position of part-time professor of French and art history in 1942.