Catalogue description Papers of Edith Maud Hull

This record is held by London University: London School of Economics, The Women's Library

Details of 7EMH
Reference: 7EMH
Title: Papers of Edith Maud Hull

The archive consists of birth and marriage certificates (1876-1880); film, theatre and publishers' contracts for EM Hull's works (1919-1956); one photograph thought to be EM Hull in her wedding dress (one of the only known photographs of the author) (c.1900); one copy of Sir Walter Scott's Poetical Works (1865) that belonged to EM Hull's father James Henderson; an article by Cecil Hull 'Six Weeks in Southern Algeria' (1930); Edith Maud Hull's suitcase; the following eight books by Edith Maud Hull inscribed to her daughter Cecil Winstanley Hull:


*E M Hull, The Sheik, 1921, Small Maynard & Co


*E M Hull, The Shadow of the East, 1921, Eveleigh Nash and Grayson


*E M Hull, The Desert Healer, 1923, Eveleigh Nash and Grayson


*E M Hull, Camping in the Sahara, 1926, Eveleigh Nash and Grayson


*E M Hull, The Sons of the Sheik, 1926, Eveleigh Nash and Grayson


*E M Hull, The Lion Tamer, 1928, Eveleigh Nash and Grayson


*E M Hull, The Captive of the Saharah, 1931, Dodd, Mead and Co


*E M Hull, The Forest of Terrible Things, 1939, Hutchinson and Company


These were popularly known as 'Desert Romances' and in 2005 were still classed by many booksellers as 'Erotic Fiction'. The archive provides an insight into the contractural and financial affairs of a popular female novelist of the early 20th century.

Date: 1875-1956
Held by: London University: London School of Economics, The Women's Library, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Hull, Edith Maud, 1880-1947, nee Henderson, writer

Physical description: 3 A boxes and 2 OS objects
Access conditions:

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit. Two items (a suitcase and a photograph) are currently unavailable, awaiting conservation.

Custodial history:

It would appear that this material once belonged to Cecil Winstanley Hull, EM Hull's daughter, to whom rights in the books passed on her death, and has remained in the family since. The material was deposited with The Women's Library by a member of the family in 2001.

Administrative / biographical background:

Edith Maud Hull (1880-1947) (née Henderson) was an author who wrote using the pseudonym EM Hull. She was also known as Edith Maud Winstanley. She was born in London to James Henderson, a Liverpool shipowner, and Katie Thorne, of New Brunswick, Canada. In her youth she travelled in Algeria, which may have provided the inspiration for her later novels. She married Percy Winstanley Hull (b. 1869), a gentleman pig farmer of Derbyshire, in the early 1900s. They lived at The Knowle, the Hull family estate in Hazelwood, Derbyshire, and had one daughter, Cecil Winstanley Hull. EM Hull began to write romantic fiction during the First World War while her husband was serving in the military. Her first and most famous novel, The Sheik (1919), was a bestseller, and was made into a phenomenally successful film starring Rudolph Valentino. It was considered exotic and shocking at the time, contributing to the fashion for the 'desert romance' genre of ficton and turning EM Hull into a bestselling novelist. She went on to write seven more books, including Sons of the Sheik (1925), which was also made into a film with Valentino. EM Hull died at home in Hazelwood, Derbyshire on 14 Feb 1947.


Cecil Winstanley Hull (c.1900-fl.1945) was the daughter of the romantic novelist EM Hull and Percy Winstanley Hull, a gentleman pig farmer. She grew up in Hazelwood, Derbyshire. As a young woman she travelled in Algeria with her mother, taking photographs for the book by EM Hull 'Camping in the Sahara' (1926). She wrote an account of her travels in the article 'Six Weeks in Algeria', published in The Ibis (1930). During the Second World War she served as an army colonel and later as chief commander of the Auxiliary Territorial Service stationed at Leicester. She was awarded an OBE.

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