Image of Ethel M. Dell


Lifetime: 1881 - 1939 Passed: ≈ 84 years ago





Ethel M. Dell

Ethel May Dell Savage known by her pen name, Ethel M. Dell, was a British writer of over 30 popular romance novels and several short stories from 1911 to 1939.

Dell was born on 2 August 1881 to a middle class family in Streatham, a suburb of London, England. Her father was a clerk in the City of London and she had an older sister and brother. Dell began to write stories while very young and many of them were published in popular magazines. Her stories were mainly romantic in nature, set in the British Raj and other old British colonial possessions. Her stories were considered by some to be overly sexual. Her cousins were known to tally the number of times she used the words passion, tremble, pant and thrill.

Dell worked on The Way of an Eagle, her first novel, for several years, finally publishing it under T. Fisher Unwin after being rejected eight times by other publishers. The book was included in Unwin's First Novel Library, a series which highlighted a writer's first book. The Way of an Eagle was published in 1911 and had gone through thirty printings by 1915.

In 1922, Ethel married a soldier, Lieutenant-Colonel Gerald Tahourdin Savage, who resigned his commission at his marriage, making Dell the sole support of the family. Despite unfavorable reviews from critics, she developed a strong fan base, earning from £20,000 to £30,000 a year. Her husband devoted himself to her and fiercely guarded her privacy. Dell continued writing, eventually producing about thirty novels and several volumes of short stories over the course of her life.

Dell died of cancer on 17 September 1939 at age 58.

Books by Ethel M. Dell

The Way of an Eagle Cover image

The Way of an Eagle

Family Love Escape Romance Life Responsibility Experiences

Muriel Roscoe has come to India to live with her father, a general. When the fort where they are staying comes under attack, General Roscoe charges the dauntless, wisecracking soldier Nick Ratcliffe with the responsibility for getting Muriel away in...

Charles Rex Cover image

Charles Rex

Romance Fiction Novel
Marriage Romantic Love Young Mystery Escape Life Emotion

On his last night in Valrosa, Saltash (Charles Rex) returns to his luxurious yacht to find a stowaway, a young woman disguised as a boy. She pleads to be kept by him in order to escape from her abuser. Although ill used by life she is still very pure...

The Hundredth Chance Cover image

The Hundredth Chance

Family Love Power Redemption Happiness Life Forgiveness

It tells the story of a young woman's journey to find love and redemption. First published in 1917, the book explores themes of family, forgiveness, and the power of love to transform even the most broken of individuals. The novel follows the story...

Knave of Diamonds Cover image

Knave of Diamonds

After a series of chance encounters, an unlikely friendship blossoms between reserved Englishwoman, Lady Anne Carfax and the free-spirited American, Napoleon "Nap" Errol. Anne's ill-tempered husband, Sir Giles Carfax becomes enraged by the innocent r...

Greatheart Cover image


Invited on a skiing trip with her wealthy neighbours, the de Vignes, Dinah delights at her first, and possibly only, taste of freedom from her difficult home life. Whilst enjoying the alps, she meets a trio of siblings: the rakish Eustace, self-effac...