Peter France is a scholar and translator of French and Russian literature. He was born in Londonderry (N. Ireland) in 1935. After studying French and Russian at Oxford and in France, he taught in the School of European Studies at the University of Sussex and was appointed Professor of French at the University of Edinburgh in 1980. He retired in 2000, having also held visiting posts or fellowships in Vancouver, Princeton, Canberra, Cape Town and Paris (Sorbonne). He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is currently living in Edinburgh and is married to the historian and translator Siân Reynolds.
His publications include books on various aspects of classical French culture, and modern Russian poetry, and he is the editor or co-editor of the New Oxford Companion to Literature in French (1995), the Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation (2000) and the Oxford History of Literary Translation in English (2005-, 5 vols). As a translator, he has worked mainly on French prose, including Diderot and Rousseau, and on Russian poetry. He collaborated with Jon Stallworthy on translations of Aleksandr Blok and Boris Pasternak; more recently he has translated poems by a number of 19th and 20th-century Russian poets, including Pushkin, Baratynsky, Mandelstam and Brodsky, and an anthology of Chuvash poetry. In particular he has translated several volumes of poetry by the Chuvash-Russian poet Gennady Aygi, including Selected Poems 1954-1994 (Angel Books, 1997), Salute - to Singing (Zephyr Press, 2002), Child-and-Rose (New Directions, 2003), and Field-Russia (New Directions, 2007).