After studying French and German at Pembroke College, Cambridge, I completed a PhD on seventeenth-century French comedy under the supervision of the late Odette de Mourgues. I held a French Government scholarship at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), followed by a Research Fellowship, and then Teaching Fellowship at Pembroke College Cambridge, before moving in 1989 to a University Lectureship and Fellowship at Trinity College, Oxford. In 2006, I was awarded the title Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French Government for services to French culture. Since 2003 I have been General Editor of the academic monograph series Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment and have recently finished a three-year term as President of the Association Internationale des Etudes Françaises.
I teach all the texts prescribed for study in the first-year course, and papers relating to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for students in their second and final years. I also give classes in French translation.
I have supervised postgraduate research on Voltaire, and on theatre and prose fiction, women’s writing, travel writing, and satire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
My principal research has been in the following areas: comedy and prose fiction of the seventeenth century, eighteenth-century literature of ideas, Voltaire, Graffigny, book illustration, translation, satire, and the reception of neo-classical texts in the Enlightenment. I have recently published critical editions of selected Voltaire texts for the definitive Œuvres complètes, published by the Voltaire Foundation.
- Voltaire, Lettres d’Amabed, Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, 70 (Oxford, Voltaire Foundation) [forthcoming].
- Voltaire, Histoire du docteur Akakia, Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, 32C (Oxford, Voltaire Foundation, 2012).
- Voltaire, Mémoires pour servir à la vie de Monsieur de Voltaire, écrits par lui-même, Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, 45C (Oxford, Voltaire Foundation, 2010).
- Voltaire, Paméla, Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, 45C (Oxford, Voltaire Foundation, 2010).