John Parkin is Emeritus Professor of French at Bristol University where he was first appointed in 1972. He graduated from Oxford in 1968 with a degree in French and Italian and was awarded a doctorate by Glasgow University five years later. He taught courses on the French Renaissance throughout his career and has published on various authors from the period, including Etienne Pasquier, Jean Bodin, Montaigne, Machiavelli, Marguerite de Navarre and especially FranÃ§ois Rabelais. He also has a research interest in the theory and practice of literary humour, hence the collective volumes French Humour [co-edited with the late Professor Michael Freeman (Rodopi 1999)] and Laughter and Power co-edited with Professor John Phillips (Lang, 2006). He is married and has two grown-up daughters.