Geoffrey Brereton

Biography of Geoffrey Brereton

Geoffrey Brereton (1906 – 1979) was a scholar and critic of French literature.

Geoffrey Brereton studied French and Spanish at Oxford University and took a doctorate thesis in Paris on Espronceda. He taught and practised journalism, then at the outbreak of the Second World War joined the BBC French Service in Algiers, as writer and eventually director.

His first scholarly publication, Jean Racine: A Critical Biography, has been described as the best full study of Racine's life and works in English. He also wrote a Short History of French Literature (1954), an Introduction to the French Poets (1956), and edited the Penguin Book of French Verse, vol. 11 (1958).

Initially funded by a Leverhulme Fellowship, the last part of his research was spent studying the French classical theatre and saw the publication of Principles of Tragedy (1968), French Tragic Drama (1973) and French Comic Drama (1977).

All of his work as author, editor, translator and reviewer was done as a freelance, and rarely saw direct academic recognition.

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