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A British academic, poet and literary critic has become the first Briton to be elected to France's Academie Francaise, the nation's pre-eminent body on matters relating to the French language, it said on Thursday.
Michael Edwards, 74, a specialist in Shakespeare as well as 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud and 17th century French dramatist Jean Racine, was elected at his third attempt.
Bilingual Edwards, who has dual nationality, taught at Britain's Warwick University until 2002 and at France's prestigious College de France in Paris where he was elected to a chair from 2002 to 2008.
The academy's statutes do not contain any restrictions relating to the nationality of its members.