AustLit logo
Brian Elliott Brian Elliott i(A29592 works by) (a.k.a. Brian Robinson Elliott)
Born: Established: 11 Apr 1910 Adelaide, South Australia, ; Died: Ceased: 28 Aug 1991 Adelaide, South Australia,
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Brian Elliott was born and educated in Adelaide, graduating in 1931 with a BA in English and French from the University of Adelaide. He completed an MA at the University of Western Australia, but returned to Adelaide in 1940 to begin his 35-year academic career at the University of Adelaide. Here he was an influence on many students of Australian literature with his enthusiasm and generosity. Elliott was one of the first to write extensively about the Australian ballad, collecting a series of essays first published in Meanjin and Australian Quarterly in Singing to the Cattle and other Australian Essays (1947). He wrote extensively on Australian writers and their works, including a major biography of Marcus Clarke and several anthologies and editions. Elliott's many visits overseas enabled him to study the literature of several different countries which he saw as a possible discipline long before studies of Commonwealth literature were discussed. And, as one of the first titled lecturers in Australian literature, he developed plans for the introduction of an Australian literary studies program before such a program was acceptable. He returned from one of his trips with a model for a national research body. He was instrumental in the foundation in 1956 of the Australian Humanities Research Council (later the Australian Academy of the Humanities).

Elliott was appointed reader in Australian literary studies in 1961, and, following his retirement, he was awarded the honorific Doctor of the University Adelaide and made a member of the Order of Australia. As Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, Elliott continued to review and write at the University of Adelaide, completing more studies of Australian literature and adding to his impressive collection of translations. He died in 1991.

Most Referenced Works

Last amended 5 Nov 2001 14:37:56
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: