James Haydock was born in South Carolina, grew up in North Carolina, and lived later in many parts of the USA. After college he served four years in the Air Force, receiving his master’s degree from Baylor University while still on active duty. Later he lived and worked in Denver and Los Angeles and attended the graduate school of UCLA before taking a job as a technical writer in a local aircraft company. Leaving that job, he returned to the University of North Carolina where he had received his bachelor’s degree, and there earned a Ph.D. in Victorian Studies. Afterwards, for nearly thirty years, he wrote and published and taught as professor of English in the University of Wisconsin. After retirement he published Portraits in Charcoal: George Gissing's Women (a biographical study), Stormbirds (a novel), and Victorian Sages (on the prose of the period). His current book, On a Darkling Plain, is a meticulous study of Victorian poetry and thought.