Evangeline Dora Edwards was a daughter of the Reverend John Edwards. She went to school at Redbrooke College, Camborne, and then graduated from Islington College London. In 1913, she set off for China, having prepared at a missionary college in Edinburgh, and enrolled at the Peking Language School to learn Mandarin and classical Chinese. She continued her studies while working at a teacher training college, and graduated in 1918. Soon after the end of World War I, she returned to England and enrolled at the University of London's School of Oriental Studies, where she obtained a B.A. and then an M.A. in Chinese. She began researching Chinese fiction of the T’ang period, and wrote a detailed analysis called Tangday-Tsongshu (1931), for which the University of London awarded her a doctorate in literature. The same year, she was appointed a reader in Chinese at the University. In 1939, she was named Professor of Chinese and then Chair of Chinese and Head of the Department of the Far East in the School of Oriental and African Studies, a position she held until 1953. Prof. Edwards also wrote Festival and Songs of Ancient China (1932);
Chinese Prose Literature of T'ang Period, A.D. 618-906 (1937-1938);
Ling Ling, Child of China (1939);
Confucius (1940), and Bamboo, Palm and Lotus: An Anthology of South-East Asia, the Far East and the Pacific (1947). In 1951, she was appointed the Acting Head of the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, a job she held until her retirement in 1955.