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Académie Française Official French literary society, now part of the Institut de France. Originating as a private discussion group whose members were persuaded by Cardinal Richelieu to become an official body in 1635, the society is the guardian of the French language and of literary conventions. Past members have included many of the giants of French literature, such as Racine, Voltaire, and Hugo.
Académie française a French literary academy with a constant membership of forty, responsible for the standard form of the French language and for compiling and revising a definitive dictionary of the French language. Its tendency is to defend traditional literary and linguistic rules and to discourage innovation. It was founded by Cardinal Richelieu in 1635.