George Ellis studied at Eton College (1764-70) and Trinity College Cambridge; he traveled to France (1783) and to the Hague on diplomatic business (1784). He published two volumes of satirical verses and contributed to The Rolliad and to the Probationary Odes for the Laureateship. He was elected to Parliament from Seaford (1796-1802). Ellis established a reputation as a satirist by contributing to the Anti-Jacobin, where he worked with George Canning and William Gifford; he was a close friend and correspondent of Sir Walter Scott, who recruited him to write for the Quarterly Review. Ellis's Specimens of the early English Poets and his later edition of metrical romances were the first commercially successful things of their kind.
Bath: its beauties and amusements. 1776.
Poetical tales by Sir Gregory Gander. 1778.
Memoir of a map of the countries between the Black sea and the Caspian. 1788.
History of the late revolution in the Dutch republic. 1789.
Specimens of early English poets. 1790, 3 vols, 1800.
Fabliaux or tales from French manuscripts. 1796, 2 vols, 1800, 3 vols, 1815.
Specimens of early English metrical romances. 3 vols, 1805.