Ridley was educated at Clifton College and Balliol College, Oxford. From 1920 to 1945 he was a Fellow and Tutor of Balliol. Ridley spent 1930-1 as a visiting professor at Bowdoin College under the auspices of the Tallman Foundation. He was a Lecturer at Bedford College from 1948.
In popular culture
Dorothy L. Sayers based the physical description of her fictional character Lord Peter Wimsey on that of Ridley after seeing him read his Newdigate Prize-winning poem "Oxford" at the Encaenia ceremony in July 1913.
- Keats' Craftsmanship: A Study in Poetic Development. Oxford: Clarendon. 1933.
- Studies in Three Literatures. English, Latin, Greek. Contrasts and Comparisons. London: Dent. 1962. ISBN 0313201897.
- Shakespeare's Plays: A Commentary.
- Abraham Lincoln.
- On Reading Shakespeare.
- Pine, L. G., ed., The Author's and Writer's Who's Who, 4th ed., 1960, p.330
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