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HULL, Edith Maud (1880-1947)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 106 7EMH
Held at: Women's Library
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Full title: HULL, Edith Maud (1880-1947)
Date(s): 1875-1956
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 3 A boxes and 2 OS objects
Name of creator(s): Hull | Edith Maud | 1880-1947 | nee Henderson | writer
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

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 fiction 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.


Scope and content/abstract:

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 and 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 contractual and financial affairs of a popular female novelist of the early 20th century.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

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.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

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.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Finding aid created by export from CALM v7.2.14 Archives Hub EAD2002. Edited for AIM25 by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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