F. E. Halliday

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Frank Ernest Halliday (10 February 1903 – 26 March 1982) was an English academic and author. He wrote on a wide range of subjects, though he was best known for his books on William Shakespeare.

F. E. Halliday (he preferred his initials for his books and public life) was born in Bradford, Yorkshire and educated at King's College, Cambridge, where he earned his M.A. in 1928. He married Nancibel Beth Gaunt in 1927; they had one child, a son.

Halliday taught English and history at Cheltenham College, and served as head of the English Department there, from 1929 to 1948. After his retirement from teaching, he and his family moved to St. Ives, Cornwall, where Halliday pursued a second career as a professional author. He produced a modern edition of Richard Carew's The Survey of Cornwall in 1953. He wrote or edited more than 20 books in his lifetime, including a volume of poetry, Meditation at Bolerium (1963).

His compendium A Shakespeare Companion was a basic reference work for a generation of readers. First published in 1950, the book went through a major revision and updating for a new edition in 1964, the quatercentenary of Shakespeare's birth.

Selected works by F. E. Halliday

  • Shakespeare and His Critics (1949)
  • The Enjoyment of Shakespeare (1952)
  • The Cult of Shakespeare (1957)
  • A History of Cornwall (1959)
  • Indifferent Honest (an autobiography)(1960)
  • The Life of Shakespeare (1961)
  • Unfamiliar Shakespeare (1962)
  • England, a Concise History (1964)
  • The Poetry of Shakespeare's Plays (1964)
  • An Illustrated Cultural History of England (1967)
  • Chaucer and His World (1968)
  • Doctor Johnson and His World (1968)
  • Wordsworth and His World (1970)
  • Thomas Hardy: His Life and Work (1972)
  • The Excellency of the English Tongue (1975)
  • Robert Browning: His Life and Work (1975)


  • Magill, Frank Northen, ed. Cyclopedia of World Authors. Pasadena, CA, Salem, 1974.
  • Obituary, The Times, 29 March 1982.