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Professor Ralph Elliott


Picture of Ralph ElliottProfessor Ralph Elliott was born in Germany into a family of long academic traditions. His ancestors include Martin Luther and the distinguished 19th-century German jurist, Rudolf von Jhering, whose many honours include the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun. Among his more recent kin are the Nobel Laureate physicist Max Born, the Australian singer Olivia Newton John, and the British novelist, actor, comedian Ben Elton.

Professor Elliott was educated in Germany and Scotland, is a graduate of the Scottish University of St Andrews, and has taught English Language and Literature at St Andrews and at the universities of Keele, Adelaide, Flinders, and The Australian National University, where he was Master of University House for thirteen years and is now a Visiting Fellow and honorary Librarian at the Humanities Research Centre. He has lectured at many Australian and overseas universities and was Visiting Fellow in the USA in 1981 and in Japan in 1988.

He served in the British Army during the Second World War, was awarded the Sword of Honour at the Royal Military College, and was severely wounded in action in the final stages of the war in Europe. Professor Elliott is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and has served as its Treasurer and Deputy Secretary. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and Honorary Doctor of Letters of Flinders University, and a Member of the Order of Australia. He has served on national and international committees devoted to education and the arts and since 1984 and has acted as an honorary concert manager for his friend, the distinguished Japanese violinist Miwako Abe.

Ralph Elliott's main fields of interest are the history and character of the English language, medieval English literature, Thomas Hardy, and children's literature. He has published numerous scholarly articles, as well as Runes. An Introduction (1959, 2nd ed 1989), Chaucer's English (1974), Thomas Hardy's English (1984, 1986) and The Gawain Country (1984). He regularly reviews books for