Helen Waddell – Presbyterian Medievalist

Biographical portrait of Helen Waddell, 1889 - 1965, poet, novelist, scholar, translator and editor.

Professor Norman from the School of English and American Studies, University of Sussex, gave this Robert Allen Memorial Lecture in Union Theological College, Belfast in May 1996. Helen Waddell was born in Tokyo in 1889 the daughter of Irish Presbyterian parents. She had a brilliant career at Queen's University, Belfast from where she went on to Oxford and Paris.

Unusually for a Presbyterian her great interest was in the history and scholarship of medieval Europe. Norman Vance paints a vivid picture of her life and accomplishments, "There has never been anyone quite like Helen Waddell, poet and novelist, romantic and religious humanist, scholar, translator and editor." She died in 1965, but her literary reputation remains high.

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Helen Waddell - Presbyterian Medievalist