David Ellis studied English Literature under F. R. Leavis at Cambridge in the 1960s, and stayed on there to complete a Ph.D. He then spent the majority of his university teaching life in England although, at the very beginning, he was in Australia for three years. On three different occasions he has taught or studied in the United States for a year and he has also held short term positions in Italy and France. At the beginning of this century he took early retirement in order to write more books and, since then, has published ten of them.

During the academic year 1991-2, David Ellis was an Andrew Mellon Fellow at the National Humanities Research Center in North Carolina and in the autumn of 2003 a 'Distinguished Fellow' at the Institute for Advanced Study of La Trobe University, Melbourne. In 2012 he was awarded the Harry T. Moore prize for distinguished services to D. H. Lawrence studies. He is at present Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury (