George Oliver Onions was born on 13 November 1873 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, UK, of humble parents. He studied art for three years in London at the National Arts Training Schools (now the Royal College of Art). His interests were motoring and science; and he was also an amateur boxer as a young man. On 1909, he married the also writer Berta Ruck (1878-1978), and they had two sons, Arthur (b. 1912) and William (b. 1913). On 1918, legally changed his name to George Oliver, but continued to publish under the name Oliver Onions. He died on 9 April 1961 in Aberystwyth, Wales.
Originally trained as a commercial artist, Oliver worked as a designer of posters and books, and as a magazine illustrator during the Boer War. Encouraged by the American writer Gelett Burgess, he began writing fiction. The first editions of Oliver Onions's novels were published with dust jackets bearing full-colour illustrations painted by himself. He wrote detective fiction, social comedy, historical fiction and romance novels. But, he is best known for his supernatural and fantasy short-stories and is regarded by many as one of the twentieth century masters of the genre. Interestingly, he was a great pragmatist and did not believe in ghosts or occult agencies of any sort. It is therefore testament to his writing skills that he so convincingly conveys supernatural atmosphere and events.