Ellen Rydelius studied at Uppsala University and graduated in 1907 with a bachelor's degree. She was part of the first generation of Sweden's working female journalists. She used the pseudonym Rydelia, except in Russian-language publications, in which she called herself Elena Petrovna. She also published translations of works by major Russian authors such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov. She also wrote a popular series of travel guides, beginning with Rome in Eight Days (1927), several cookbooks, and two volumes of autobiography. In 1911, she married Harald Wägner, also a writer; their daughter Ria Wägner also became a journalist and co-authored several books with her mother.