Pamela Frankau was born in London, England to a literary family of Anglo-Jewish origins. Her father was the novelist Gilbert Frankau and her paternal grandmother was writer Julia Frankau, who used the pseudonym Frank Danby. Her grandmother's brother James Davis was a musical comedy librettist under the name Owen Hall. Gilbert Frankau abandoned the family in about 1919, and Pamela and her sister had little to do with him until they were nearly grown up. They were sent to Burgess Hill School, a boarding school in Sussex. She began writing at an early age and her first novel, Marriage of Harlequin (1927), was published when she was 19 years old. It was well received and she published 20 novels by age 30. She also wrote short stories and worked as a journalist for The Mirror and The Daily Sketch. She had a nine-year affair with Humbert Wolfe, a married poet, which ended with his death in 1940. During World War II, she worked for the BBC, the Ministry of Food, and then the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Raised an Anglican, she converted to the Roman Catholic faith, described later in her book Shaken in the Wind (1948). In 1945, she married Marshall Dill, an American academic and former naval intelligence officer, with whom she lived in the USA. Their only child died in infancy. She returned to England and divorced in 1951. Her most successful and popular novel, The Willow Cabin, was published in 1949. Some of her novels, including The Bridge (1957), were fantasy or science fiction. She wrote about her distant relationship with her father in Pen to Paper (1961). She also wrote an autobiographical novel, I Find Four People (1935).