David Ellis

Emeritus Professor


Before coming to Kent, David Ellis read English at Cambridge under F. R. Leavis and then spent three years teaching in Australia.  His time here has been punctuated by three, year-long visits to the United States, two of them as a visiting professor at first the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and then the University of Indiana in Bloomington, and the third as a research fellow of the National Humanities Center in North Carolina.       

After first publishing a translation of Stendhal’s Souvenirs d’Egotisme and then a book on The Prelude with Cambridge University Press (Wordsworth, Freud and the spots of time), David was invited to write the third volume of the Cambridge biography of D. H. Lawrence (Dying Game).  This appeared in 1998 and was short-listed for the James Tait Black prize.  Following its publication he continued to work on Lawrence, writing numerous essays, and publishing in 2008 Death and the Author: How D. H. Lawrence died, and was remembered (Oxford University Press).  But he has also written a good deal on Shakespeare, in 2007 linking his interest in the plays to a fascination with comedy in order to produce Shakespeare’s Practical Jokes (Bucknell University Press).  More recently he has gone back to the Romantic period with Byron in Geneva: That Summer of 1816 (Liverpool University Press, 2011); continued to explore problems of biography in The Truth about William Shakespeare: Fact, Fiction and Modern Biographies(Edinburgh University Press, 2012); and published Memoirs of a Leavisite: The Decline and Fall of `Cambridge English’ (Liverpool University Press, 2013). In April 2015 Bloomsbury brought out his tribute to a Kent friend and colleague Frank Cioffi: The Philosopher in Shirt-Sleeves and at the end of that year his Love and Sex in D. H. Lawrence was published by Clemson University Press.  His most recent book, Perfidious Albion: The Story of Stendhal and British Culture, will appear in October 2017.   

To visit David's website, please go to dellis-author.co.uk.

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