Passing of Dr. Helen Ellis
Sadly, Dr. Helen Ellis, who joined the English Language and Literature Department at UWaterloo in 1965, passed away yesterday. After completing her PhD at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1964), Dr. Ellis taught at Purdue University before arriving in Canada. An interview with Dr. Ellis was conducted for the department’s fiftieth anniversary. There was not enough room to cover all of her achievements: in addition to all included there, Dr. Ellis also participated in the founding of the PhD, taught our first science fiction class, and collaborated generously with her colleagues in multiple ways. Her training was as a Keats scholar, but she went on to publish on William Blake, Romantic Periodicals, and more.

“In poem after poem and in his letters as well, feasting and sexuality are closely equated, so much so that eating and drinking become persistent metaphors for the hero’s relationship to his mistress.” –Dr. Ellis on Keats

There will be a visitation 7-9pm, Friday, September 25th at the Erb & Good Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo, followed by a memorial service Saturday 11am, All Saints Anglican Church, 685 Highpoint Ave, Waterloo (the corner of Northfield and Westmount Road North). For further updates, see here.

Dr. Ellis is on the far right of the photo. Credit here.


One response to “Passing of Dr. Helen Ellis

  1. Dr. Ellis introduced me to Keats, along with my favorite Austen novel Persuasion, and the “proto-post-modern” novel Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg. I still remember her classes (and many things she recollected, like weeping over first reading Byron’s “Prisoner of Chillon” as a teenager, attesting to the power of Romantic poetry, her dislike of Scott, and her encyclopedic knowledge if Blake) after more than 32 years. A valuable influence on my reading, and on others’, for which she will be missed.

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