Sixtus Beckmesser, a character from Wagner's Die Meistersinger, is the pen name of Richard France. He was, formerly, a GP and cognitive psychotherapist in Hampshire. He has researched, lectured and written books on cognitive behaviour therapy with his brilliant and long suffering co-worker, clinical psychologist, Meredith Robson. She also helps him get into Glyndebourne and sell wine. Since retirement, he has been travelling to music festivals with his speech and language therapist wife, Jennifer. He has a long-standing passion for Europe and its struggle towards unity.
Out of the festival season he lives in Hampshire and the Tuscan hills making wine, book binding and writing, whilst still finding time for music in Florence, Milan, London and Venice.
He has always been interested in how people manage to survive terrible circumstances and events. This has led to the five books of the Livonia series. The first two Walpurgis night and The Last Star Rising are combined in Survival.
He has an engineer son and a lawyer daughter who, in spite of his best efforts, don't share his passion for Wagner.