Evelyn Everett-Green was born in London, the daughter of historian Mary Anne Everett (née Wood) Green and her husband George Pycock Green, an artist. She was educated at home by her parents to the age of 12 and at Mrs. Bolton's Gower Street Preparatory School. She won a scholarship to attend Bedford College of the University of London during the year 1872-1873, during which time she wrote her first novel, Tom Tempest's Victory. She also attended the Royal Academy of Music for two years and worked as a nurse in a London hospital. Her brother Robert, a young engineer, died in 1876, ending her plans to go to India with him, and she devoted herself to her writing, teaching and nursing. Tom Tempest's Victory was published in 1880. Early in her career, she wrote mostly moral tales, but eventually turned more and more to historical fiction for young people -- including adventure stories for boys -- and then romance novels for adults. She was a prolific author who produced about 350 books, about 200 of them published under her own name, and others under pen names including Cecil Adair and Evelyn Dare. She was one of the most popular writers of her day. In 1911, she and her lifelong companion Catherine Mainwaring Sladen settled in Madeira, Portugal.