Roger Duchêne was one of the foremost scholars of the 17th century, specializing in the letters of Madame de Sévigné. He taught French literature of the period at the University of Provence for 30 years. In 1971, he founded CMR17 (Centre méridional de rencontres sur le XVII), of which he was president until 1998. He won numerous prestigious awards and prizes for editing and studying the correspondence of Madame de Sévigné as well as the lives and works of Molière, La Fontaine, amd Proust. He was also a historian of the city of Marseille, producing three television and radio series on FR3 Marseille. From 1990 to 1995, he was director of a quarterly illustrated cultural magazine of the city.