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Professor Peter France FBA

French Language and Literature
Peter France profile picture

About this Fellow

Peter France studied at Bradford Grammar School, at Magdalem College, Oxford, and in France. He was awarded a Ph.D. for his thesis on Racine's rhetoric. From 1963 to 1980 he taught at the University of Sussex, and from 1980 to 2000 at the University of Edinburgh, where he is now Emeritus Professor of French and Honorary Fellow. He held visiting posts at the University of British Columbia, the Australian National University, the University of Cape Town, and the Sorbonne, and is a past president of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric and the British Comparative Literature Association. In recent years he has been mainly active as a historian of translation and a translator. Having studied Russian during National Service he has translated a wide range of Russian poets, including Batyushkov, Baratynsky, Lermontov, Annensky, Blok, Pasternak, Mayakovsky, Mandelstam and in particular Gennady Aygi. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was for ten years chairman of the Poetry Association of Scotland and the first director of the Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation. He is married to the historian and translator Siân Reynolds.



Current post

  • Honorary Fellow and Emeritus Professor of French, University of Edinburgh

Past Appointments

  • Lecturer, Reader in French, School for Global studies, University of Sussex, 1963 - 1980
  • Professor of French, University of Edinburgh, 1980 - 2000

British Academy Appointments

  • Member of Council, 1992 - 1995


Oxford History of literary translation in English, vol 4, edited with Kenneth Haynes 2006

Poets of Modern Russia 1982

Racine's Rhetoric 1965

Mapping lives: the uses of biography -2002

New Oxford companion to literature in French 1995

Oxford guide to literature in English translation 2000

Other Modern Languages, Literatures and other Media from 1830 Fellows

Professor Mary Jacobus

British Romanticism, especially Wordsworth; feminist literary theory and criticism; psychoanalysis; visual culture

Professor Juliet Mitchell

Psychoanalytic and interdisciplinary research into gender/sexual difference and sibling/social group relationships using literature to analyse the horizontal axis missing from social theory

Professor Beatriz Sarlo

Argentine culture and literature of the twentieth and twenty-first century; urban and popular culture; intellectual history in Latin America; history of the media; literary criticism and aesthetic ideologies

Professor Steven Connor

The relations between literature, technology and science and the cultural phenomenology of material life