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Ethel M. Dell entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
Timeline
Excerpts
Works By
Ethel M. Dell, the author of twenty best-selling novels published before and after the first world war, also produced eight volumes of short stories. Each novel features an introductory poem. Bibliographic Citation link. When she began writing for publication she had no familiarity with the world beyond suburban southern England, combining sexual ignorance with intense erotic feeling. Her simple creed, in the words of the Feminist Companion, was "courage, Empire, and protection of women, 'the first primaeval instinct of human chivalry.'" Bibliographic Citation link. Bound up in her works with delicate, upper-class women's need for protection are the admired virtues of chivalry, the horrors of sadistic domination, and a distaste for lower rungs of the social scale.
Milestones
2 August 1881 EMD was born at 62 Hayter Road, Brixton, South London, the youngest of three children. Bibliographic Citation link.
January 1912 EMD's first novel, The Way of an Eagle, was published by T. Fisher Unwin in their First Novel Library series. Bibliographic Citation link.
19 September 1939 EMD died in hospital at Hertford, where her husband had been posted in anticipation of the outbreak of war. Bibliographic Citation link.
January 1958 Stevie Smith, selecting EMD's The Way of an Eagle as the eleventh in a list of "Best Sellers of the Century" for the Observer newspaper, praised it in very high terms. Bibliographic Citation link.
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