Ellis, Royston, 1941-

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Author, biographer, and beat poet.

From the description of Royston Ellis Papers, 1952-1967. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 84696478


From the description of Papers, 1960-1961. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 36254220

Christopher Royston George Ellis, writer, biographer and beat poet, was born February 10, 1941, in Pinner, England. He attended state school there until the age of sixteen, when he left school to become a writer. Two years later Jiving to Gyp, his first collection of poems, was published. Ellis performed poetry from the book on stage and television accompanied by rock music. His mix of poetry and rock music was called rocketry. Some of the most famous bands performing with Ellis include Cliff Richard's group The Shadows, as well as Jimmy Page, and John, Paul, and Stuart, who would later become the Beatles. In the sixties, Ellis was in Liverpool where he met John Lennon, who wanted to become a pop star and had already thought of a name for his group. It was Ellis who suggested he spell Beatles with an a, and the group went on to record the hit song Paperback Writer, which Lennon and McCartney wrote about Ellis.

Ellis left England at the age of twenty. His travels took him to Berlin in the 1960s where he saw the Berlin Wall being built, and later to Moscow, where he was invited by the poet Yevtushenko to perform his own poetry.

In 1963 his travels took him to the Canary Islands where he acted in the movie Wonderful Life with Cliff Richard. While there, he worked for the only English language newspaper on the islands and also as a beachboy renting canoes. In 1964, while living in Las Palamas, Canary Islands, he wrote his unpublished novel based on life in the islands The Cherry Boy, not to be confused with his published collection of poems under the same name. In September of 1965, after brief travels back to England and to Africa, Greece, and Turkey, Ellis returned to the Canary Islands to write a novel. Commissioned after an article in The People exposing the Canary Islands sex market, The Flesh Merchants, his new novel, incorporated many chapters he had previously written for his unpublished novel The Cherry Boy. The Flesh Merchants caused enough sensation for Ellis that he claims he was forced to leave Las Palamas in November of 1966 because of police reaction to the novel.

From 1966-1980 Ellis lived in Dominica, where he wrote a series of historical novels under the pen name Richard Tresillian. He has also written under the pseudonym Raynard Devine. In 1980 he settled in Sri Lanka writing guidebooks, biographies, novels, and travel features. Ellis now lives there permanently in a cottage overlooking the Indian Ocean.

From the guide to the Royston Ellis Papers None., 1952-1967, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Yevtushenko, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich, 1933-. Papers, ca. 1920-1999, ca. 1945-1997 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Royston Ellis Papers None., 1952-1967 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Ellis, Royston. Papers, 1960-1961. Indiana University
creatorOf Ellis, Royston, 1941-. Royston Ellis Papers, 1952-1967. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Dean, James, 1931-1955 person
associatedWith Presley, Elvis, 1935-1977 person
associatedWith Richard, Cliff. person
associatedWith Richard, Cliff. person
associatedWith Yevtushenko, Yevgeny person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Beat generation
Rock music
Rock music


Birth 1941-02-10


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