Ethel May Dell Savage (2 August 1881 – 19 September 1939) was a British writer, known by her pen name, Ethel M. Dell, of over 30 popular romance novels and several short stories from 1911 to 1939. She died leaving an estate valued at £32k.
She was born at "Ferndale" in Polworth Road, Streatham to Vincent, a Clerk in an Assurance Company and Irene and had two siblings Irene and Reginald. The household included 2 servants.(Census 1891)
She was taught at home by her mother and then attended the Streatham College for Girls where she wrote stories for her classmates. Her first novel, "The Way of an Eagle" was rejected 13 times by publishers.
After numerous redrafts it was published and became an instant bestseller. She published 35 more books as well as collections of short stories and poems. Her novels invariably had happy endings.
The form of her novels followed popular social ideals with marriage reigning supreme and her heros and heroines rarely indulging in sex before marriage.
In 1922 she married Lieutenant-Colonel Gerald Savage and they retired to the country. She continued to write books and published her last novel in 1939, the year of her death.
(The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers)