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The College was relaxed, beautiful yet
not intimidating, extremely friendly and open

Emily, 2nd Year

Professor Peter Rickard

Photo of Professor Peter Rickard

Emeritus Drapers Professor of French; Life Fellow.

LittD, MA(Oxon), DPhil(Oxon).

Peter Rickard was born in Camborne, Cornwall, on 20 September 1922. He was educated at Redruth County Grammar School 1933-41 and at Exeter College, Oxford 1941-2 and 1946-9. Between 1942 and 1946 he served in the army, mostly in India. He obtained First Class honours in Modern Languages (French and German) in 1948, and MA Oxon in the same year. He wrote a dissertation on medieval French literature 1948-51 and was awarded a DPhil in 1952. He was a College Lecturer in French at Trinity College, Oxford, 1949-52, and then matriculated as a member of St John’s College and of the University of Cambridge in October 1952. He was elected a Fellow of Emmanuel College in January 1953, and has been a Life Fellow since 1983. He was awarded a LittD in 1982. He was Assistant Lecturer in French at the University of Cambridge 1952-7, Lecturer 1957-74, Reader 1974-80, Drapers Professor of French 1980-2.

The photograph on the right dates from 1979.

Peter Rickard died on 2 April, 2009.

Research Interests

History of the French language; Romance philology; Techniques of translation; English literature, language and style.


Britain in Medieval French Literature (CUP, 1956)

La langue française au XVIe siècle (CUP, 1968)

Edition: Selected Poems of Fernando Pessoa, translated from the original Portuguese (Edinburgh University Press, 1971)

Chrestomathie de la langue française au XVe siècle (CUP, 1976)

The Embarrassments of Irregularity: the French Language in the 18th Century (Inaugural lecture) (CUP, 1981)

The French Language in the 17th Century: Contemporary Opinion in France (Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 1992)

The Transferred Epithet in Modern English Prose (P. Rickard, Emmanuel College, 1996)

articles in French, German and English periodicals.


French language and literature (Trinity College Oxford, 1949-52 and Emmanuel College Cambridge, 1952-80); language classes (Modern French) and lecture courses on the history of the French language (Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages).

Other interests

Art history; music (classical, folk and exotic); travel, mostly to places of historical interest.

Peter Rickard died on 2 April, 2009

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