The Obstacle Race by Ethel May Dell, Fiction, Action & Adventure, War & Military Cover Image

About the Author: Ethel M. Dell

Ethel M. Dell (2 August 1881 – 19 September 1939) was a British writer of over 30 popular romance novels and several short stories from 1911 to 1939.

Ethel May Dell was born on 2 August 1881 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. Her family was middle class and lived a comfortable life. Ethel Dell was a very shy, quiet girl and was content to be dominated by her family. She began to write stories while very young and many of them were published in popular magazines. Beneath her shy exterior, she had a passionate heart and most of her stories were stories of passion and love set in India and other old British colonial possessions. They were considered to be very racy and her cousins would pull out pencils to try and count up the number of times she used the words: passion, tremble, pant and thrill. Pictures of her are very rare and she was never interviewed by the press.

Ethel Dell worked on a novel for several years, but it was rejected by eight publishers. Finally the publisher T. Fisher Unwin bought the book for their First Novel Library, a series which introduced a writer's first book. This book, entitled The Way of an Eagle, was published in 1911 and by 1915 it had gone through thirty printings.

Her debut novel is very characteristic of Ethel M. Dell's novels. There is a very feminine woman, an alpha male, a setting in India, passion galore liberally mixed with some surprisingly shocking violence and religious sentiments sprinkled throughout.

While readers adored Ethel M. Dell's novels, critics hated them with a passion; but she did not care what the critics thought. She considered herself a good storyteller – nothing more and nothing less. Ethel M. Dell continued to write novels for a number of years. She made quite a lot of money, from £20,000 to £30,000 a year, but remained quiet and almost pathologically shy.

In 1922, Ethel Dell married a soldier, Lieutenant-Colonel Gerald Tahourdin Savage, when she was forty years old, and the marriage was happy. Colonel Savage resigned his commission on his marriage and Ethel Dell became the support of the family. Her husband devoted himself to her and fiercely guarded her privacy. For her part she went on writing, eventually producing about thirty novels and several volumes of short stories. Ethel's married name is recorded as Ethel Mary Savage.

Ethel M. Dell died of cancer on 19 September 1939, at 58.

(from Wikipedia)


The Obstacle Race by Ethel May Dell, Fiction, Action & Adventure, War & Military Cover Image

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Goodreads rating: 4.20

Paperback, Published in Jul 2008 by Aegypan

ISBN10: 1606642154 | ISBN13: 9781606642153

Page count: 256

While readers adored Ethel M. Dell's novels, critics hated them with a passion; but she did not care what the critics thought. She considered herself a good storyteller nothing more and nothing less. Ethel M. Dell continued to write novels for a number of years. She made quite a lot of money, from 20,000 to 30,000 a year, but remained quiet and almost pathologically shy. Without an instant's hesitation Juliet Moore scrambles up the steep incline, climbing swiftly enough to cut off the landward line of retreat for her mysterious assailant. Whoever had cast those stones at her -- well, she will give him a fright, at very least! Then she stops sharply, for suddenly there rises before her a figure so strange that for a moment she feels like a scared child. It springs from the bushes and stands facing her like an animal at bay -- a short creature neither man nor boy . . . misshapen, grotesquely humped, possessing long thin arms of almost baboon-like proportions. The head, sunken into the shoulders, is flung back with the face upraised -- and it is the face that makes her pause, for it is the most pathetic sight she has ever looked upon. It is the face of a lad of two or three and twenty -- but drawn in lines so painful, so hollowed, so piteous, that her fear melts into compassion at the sight. Juliet Moore has left London seeking a quieter life in this seaside village . . . and finds, rather than peace, both joy and heart-rending tragedy, in this novel by Ethel May Dell, author of Greatheart and The Knave of Diamonds."

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