Hull, Eleanor Henrietta (Ní Choill, Eibhlín) (1860–1935), Celtic scholar and author, was born 15 January 1860 in Manchester, daughter of Edward Hull (qv), geologist, originally of Co. Antrim, and Mary Catherine Henrietta Hull (née Cooke), from Cheltenham. In Manchester Eleanor's family lived at 147 York Street, Cheetham. They moved to Dublin when she was a child, and Eleanor was most likely educated at home first and subsequently at Alexandra College (1877-82). During the summer of 1879 she attended courses on electricity, power and light in the Royal College of Science, Dublin, where her father was professor at that time.
Having moved to London in her early thirties, she came under the influence of Standish Hayes O'Grady (qv), who encouraged her interest in Celtic studies and taught her Irish. She subsequently studied under Holger Pedersen (qv), Kuno Meyer (qv) and Robin Flower (qv). She joined the Gaelic League and the Irish Literary Society (founded 1892) and was elected president of the latter on 29 March 1915. A founding member of the Irish Texts Society in 1898, she served as honorary secretary from its foundation until 1918, as joint honorary secretary (1918–28), and again as full honorary secretary in name until her death. She was also a council member of the Folklore Society, secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society, and a member of the Viking Club. The National University of Ireland (NUI) awarded her a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) degree honoris causa in 1931.
She is generally better remembered for her efforts in popularising Irish literature than for her scholarly work. Together with Lionel Johnson (qv) she was editor of The Irish Home Reading Magazine in which her first publication ‘The fate of the Children of Lir’ appeared in May 1894. Her other publications include The Cuchullin saga in Irish literature (1898), Pagan Ireland (1904), Early Christian Ireland (1905), A textbook of Irish literature (2 vols, 1906, 1908), Cuchulain the hound of Ulster (1909), The poem-book of the Gael (1912), A history of Ireland and her people (2 vols, 1926, 1931) and Folklore of the British Isles (1928). Hull’s treatment of Irish sources in this final volume was criticised by Séamus Ó Duilearga (qv) in a review in Studies (September, 1929). She also contributed to a wide variety of literary journals and newspapers including the Celtic Review, Literary World, Folklore Journal, The Saga Book of the Viking Club and The New Ireland Review. She was also editor of the Lives of the Celtic Saints series and a regular reviewer with The Times. Her translation work from Irish included ‘Be thou my vision, o Lord of my heart’, which appears in the Church of Ireland's hymnal. In addition to her literary interests, she was an accomplished organist. A special volume of the Irish Texts Society, Sgéalta Thomáis Uí Chathasaigh, was dedicated to her.
Unmarried, she lived in London at 3 Camp View, Wimbledon Common. She died at home on 13 January 1935 and her funeral took place at the chapel of Wimbledon cemetery, Gap Road, Wimbledon.
More information on this entry is available at the National Database of Irish-language biographies (Ainm.ie).