WOMEN MAKING HISTORY
(b. October 3, 1864, Bucharest, Romania – d. February 17, 1947, Paris, France)
Elena Văcărescu gained notoriety as a writer and translator, but also as a veritable ambassador of Romanian culture in the world. As a member of Romanian aristocracy, she received a prestigious education from an early age. Through her English governess she became familiar with the English literature and later she would complete her studies in Paris.
On returning to the country, Elena Văcărescu joined the suite of Queen Elizabeth, wife of King Carol I. With the support of the sovereign, she published a collection of Romanian folk songs, translated into German, English, French, Italian, for which she received an award of the French Academy in 1900.
She was later forced to leave Romania because Ferdinand, the future king, fell in love with her and their relationship was considered detrimental in political terms. She settled in Paris, where she became a famous member of the literary and artistic scene. From there, she continued to collaborate with both Romanian and French newspapers. She never ceased to promote Romanian interests. In recognition of her efforts, Elena Văcărescu was co-opted in the Romanian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference. Furthermore, she was appointed General Secretary of the Romanian Association of the League of Nations, working closely with the famous diplomat Nicolae Titulescu. On June 11, 1925, to reward her artistic and diplomatic merits, she was made an honorary member of the Romanian Academy.