Edith Maude Hull (1880-1947) was born in Hampstead, London. As a child, she travelled widely with her parents, even visiting Algeria the setting of her novels. In 1899, she married Percy Winstanley Hull and the couple moved to Derbyshire. They had a daughter who also wrote a book Six Weeks in Algeria (1930).
She dabbled writing fiction in the late 1910s while her husband was away serving in the First World War. The Sheik, her first effort, quickly became an international blockbuster, placing among Publishers Weekly's top ten best sellers for both of the years 1921 and 1922. Hull's volume quickly sold over 1.2 million copies worldwide. Sales further increased when Paramount released a film version of The Sheik in 1921, which launched Rudolph Valentino into cinema immortality as the greatest 'lover' of the silent screen.