Family: Born October 1, 1914, in Bebington, Cheshire, England; daughter of Henry Roderick (a stationer) and Millie (Cheesman) Ellis; married Richard Robertson Davidson (a research scientist), December 27, 1943; children: Hilary, Richard Neil Roderick. Education: Newnham College, Cambridge, M.A., 1939, Ph.D., 1940. Politics: Liberal. Religion: Church of England. Memberships: Society of Antiquaries of London (fellow), Folklore Society (council member).
University of London, London, England, assistant lecturer in English, Royal Holloway College, 1939-44, part-time lecturer in English, Birkbeck College, 1945-54, lecturer in extramural department, 1942-54; Cambridge University, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, England, research fellow, 1968-71, lecturer, beginning 1971.
Leverhulme research award for work in Soviet Union, 1964.
WRITINGS BY THE AUTHOR:
- (Under name Hilda Roderick Ellis) The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature, Cambridge University Press, 1943, reprinted, Greenwood Press, 1968.
- The Golden Age of Northumbria, Longmans, Green, 1958.
- The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England, Clarendon Press, 1961.
- Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Pelican Books, 1965, published as Gods and Myths of the Viking Age, Crown, 1981.
- (Contributor) Joan Cadogan Lancaster, Godiva of Coventry, Coventry Corp., 1967.
- Pagan Scandinavia, Praeger, 1967.
- (With G. N. Garmonsway and Jacqueline Simpson) Beowulf and Its Analogues, Dent, 1968.
- Scandinavian Mythology, Hamlyn, 1969, revised edition, Peter Bedrick Books (New York, NY), 1986.
- (With Peter Gelling) The Chariot of the Sun, Praeger, 1969.
- (Editor) The Journey to the Other World: Papers from the Exeter Conference, 1971, Rowman & Littlefield, 1975.
- The Viking Road to Byzantium, Allen & Unwin, 1976.
- Symbols of Power, Brewer, 1977.
- Patterns of Folklore, Rowman & Littlefield, 1978.
- (Editor) Gesta Danorum: The History of the Danes, Books I-IX, translated by Peter Fisher, Rowman & Littlefield, Volume I: Saxo Grammaticus: English Text, 1979, Volume II: Saxo Grammaticus: Commentary, 1980.
- (Editor with W. M. Russell) The Folklore of Ghosts, Brewer, 1982.
- (Editor) The Hero in Tradition and Folklore: Papers Read at a Conference of the Folklore Society held at Dyffryn House, Cardiff, July 1982, Folklore Society (London, England), 1984.
- Katharine Briggs: Story-Teller, Lutterworth Press (Cambridge, England), 1986.
- Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions, Syracuse University Press (Syracuse, NY), Manchester University Press (Manchester, UK), 1988.
- (Editor) The Seer in Celtic and Other Traditions, John Donald Publishers (Edinburgh, UK), 1989.
- The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe, Routledge (New York, NY) (London, UK), 1993.
- The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England: Its Archaeology and Literature, Boydell (Rochester, NY) (Woodbridge, UK), 1994.
- (Editor with Anna Chaudhri) Supernatural Enemies, Carolina Academic Press (Durham, NC), 2001.
- (Editor with Carmen Blacker) Women and Tradition: A Neglected Group of Folklorists, Carolina Academic Press (Durham, NC), 2001.
- (Coeditor with Anna Chaudhri and Derek Brewer) A Companion to the Fairy Tale, D. S. Brewer; Boydell & Brewer, 2003.
Contributor to Encyclopaedia Britannica, and to Antiquity, Folklore, Arms and Armour, and other journals.
H. R. Ellis Davidson has reading knowledge of Anglo-Saxon, early Norse, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Russian, Latin, and German.
FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
- Times Literary Supplement, January 29, 1982.*