Professor George Bagshawe Harrison was born in Hove, Sussex, England, on July 14, 1894. His education at Queens' College, Cambridge, was interrupted by the first world war, during which he served in India and Mesopotamia. In 1919 he returned to Cambridge, where he took a first class degree in English literature in 1920, one of the first such awarded.
Harrison became reader in English literature at King's College, London, in 1924, and remained there until the start of the second world war, when he rejoined the army. In 1943 he was released from the army to take up the post of Head of the Department of English at Queen's University, Ontario. In 1949 he went to the University of Michigan, and in l963-64 he was a member of the English faculty at the University of Windsor, in Windsor, Ontario. His publications include, besides his editions of the plays, a guide, the Companion to Shakespeare Studies (with Harley Granville-Barker), books on John Bunyan and the Earl of Essex, and the remarkable fictional Elizabethan and Jacobean journals. After his retirement, Harrison served on the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, for the Roman Catholic Church, for which he was instrumental in translating the Latin Mass into English.
Professor Harrison, Shakespeare scholar, editor, and teacher, died in New Zealand on November 1, 1991, at the age of 97. Professor Harrison not only taught many hundreds of students of English literature during his forty years of service at universities in Britain, Canada, and the United States, but he was known to tens of thousands more from his text of Shakespeare's Complete Works, widely used in university courses since its publication in 1952.
In 1985, Harrison published his memoirs One man in his time; the memoirs of G.B. Harrison 1894-1984 (The Dunmore Press Ltd)
From the guide to the G. B. Harrison Papers, 1910-1981, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)