David Daiches was born in Sunderland in 1912, and his childhood and youth were spent in Edinburgh where his father, Rabbi Dr Salis Daiches, was a distinguished member of the Jewish community. These formative years are finely and affectionately recollected in his autobiographical memoir from 1956, Two Worlds. Educated at George Watson's, Edinburgh university and Balliol College, Oxford, with postgraduate degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge, David Daiches has become a leading scholar and critic, widely known and well-loved.
Professor of English at the University of Sussex from 1961 to 1977, he has travelled widely and received further honours from the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and the Sorbonne. With over forty books to his name, he has written on a host of subjects, from Virginia Woolf to Willa Cather, from Burns, Scott, Boswell and Stevenson to Milton, Moses, and the Bible. He has produced distinguished literary and critical histories and a popular study of Scotch whisky.