Grace Frick

Grace Marion Frick (January 12, 1903 – November 18, 1979) was a translator and researcher for her lifelong partner French author Marguerite Yourcenar.[1] Grace Frick taught languages at US colleges and was the second academic dean to be appointed to Hartford Junior College.

Early lifeEdit

Grace Marion Frick was born in Toledo, Ohio, on January 12, 1903.[2][3] The family later moved to Kansas City, Missouri.[3]

Frick attended Wellesley College, receiving her bachelor's in 1925 and in 1927 earning a master's degree in English.[4][5] She worked on a dissertation at Yale University, starting in 1937, the same year she met Yourcenar in Paris, and completed academic work at University of Kansas.[3][1][4]


Grace Frick is most remembered for being the translator from French into English of Memoirs of Hadrian, The Abyss and Coup de Grâce by Marguerite Yourcenar.[3] Until Frick's death, Yourcenar allowed only her to translate her books.[6]

She taught at Stephens Junior College for Women (now Stephens College), Columbia, Missouri, and at Barnard College, New York City.[3][4][7] After Yourcenar's arrival, in 1940, Frick became the second academic dean of Hartford Junior College (later Hartford College for Women), until 1943, and they moved together at 549 Prospect Ave, West Hartford.[3][4] Other than administrative duties, Frick also taught English.[4] After Hartford, Frick taught at Connecticut College for Women (now Connecticut College), New London, Connecticut.[4]

While in Hartford, Frick and Yourcenar were active in the arts community that originated around the Wadsworth Atheneum headed by Arthur Everett Austin, Jr..[3]

French writer Marguerite Yourcenar, her companion, in 1982.

Personal lifeEdit

She met Marguerite Yourcenar in the February of 1937 at the Wagram Hotel, Paris.[8] They fell madly in love with one another and in 1939 Grace invited Marguerite to come live with her in the United States which also allowed her to escape the imminent war happening in Europe.[9] Grace Frick and Yourcenar lived together for forty years until Frick died of cancer on November 18, 1979.[3]

Together they bought a house, "Petite Plaisance",[10] in 1950 in Northeast Harbor, Maine, on Mount Desert Island.[3][4] The two companions spoke French at home, loved horseback riding and lived a quiet life.[11][12] They are both buried at Brookside Cemetery, Mount Desert, Maine. Alongside them is a memorial plaque for Jerry Wilson, the last companion of Yourcenar, who died of AIDS in 1986.[10]


  1. ^ a b "BECOMING THE EMPEROR How Marguerite Yourcenar reinvented the past". The New Yorker. February 14, 2005. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  2. ^ Edmund White (September 14, 1997). "The Celebration of Passion". The New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Grace Frick Dies; Was College Dean - 25 Nov 1979, Sun • Page 24". Hartford Courant: 24. 1979. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Early Hartford College for Women History". University of Hartford Archives: Hartford College for Women and the WelFund. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Seniors are Honored for Academic Merit". The Wellesley News. June 23, 1927. p. 3.
  6. ^ Allen, Esther; Bernofsky, Susan (2013). In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means. Columbia University Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780231535021. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  7. ^ Bleier, Magda Palacci (1980). "After 300 Years, a Woman Writer (from Maine, 'Mon Dieu') Joins 'The Immortals' of France". People. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  8. ^ Savigneau, Josyane (1993). Marguerite Yourcenar: Inventing a Life [Marguerite Yourcenar: L'Invention d'une vie]. Chicago 60637: University of Chicago Press. pp. 114. ISBN 0-226-73544-3.CS1 maint: location (link)
  9. ^ Sarde, Michèle (1995). Vous, Marguerite Yourcenar: La passion et ses masques. Paris: Éditions Robert Laffont, S.A. pp. 13. ISBN 2-221-05930-1.
  10. ^ a b Litoff, Judy Barrett; McDonnell, Judith (1994). European Immigrant Women in the United States: A Biographical Dictionary. Taylor & Francis. p. 320. ISBN 9780824053062. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  11. ^ Deprez, Bérengère (2009). Marguerite Yourcenar and the USA: From Prophecy to Protest. Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang S.A. Éditions scientifiques internationales. p. 76. ISBN 978-90-5201-563-7.
  12. ^ Galey, Matthieu (1980). Marguerite Yourcenar de l'Académie française: Les yeux ouverts. 75007 Paris: Éditions du Centurion. pp. 243 à 249. ISBN 2-227-32022-2.CS1 maint: location (link)