Ella Hepworth Dixon was born in London, England to William Hepworth, an editor, and his wife Marian MacMahon. She grew up in a home visited by writers and artists such as Geraldine Jewsbury, Thomas Huxley, Sir Richard Burton, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and John Everett Millais. She received an outstanding education for a girl of her era, and studied briefly in Heidelberg and Paris. In 1888, she was invited to become the editor of The Woman's World magazine by its previous editor, Oscar Wilde. She also edited The Englishwomen from 1895. She wrote essays, stories, and articles. Her most famous work was the novel The Story of a Modern Woman (1894). Other works included One Doubtful Hour, a collection of stories, and the autobiographical As I Knew Them. Her one-act play The Toy-Shop of the Heart was produced in London in 1908.