Ethel M. Dell (1881-1939) had gained success, money and fame with her first novel The Way of an Eagle, so any new novel was almost guaranteed to be a success, especially a melodrama. The Pall Mall Gazette stated that the novel
deals with the unhappy home life and love affairs of a delightful cinderella. A. St. John Adcock writing in The Sketch was a bit more realistic:
... you can wallow in sentiment if you get
Greatheart; but it worries me when the charming, sensible Dinah gushes over the simple Scott Studley, who is familiarly known as
Stumpy. Could any rational girl bring herself to call any man
Greatheart? Yet you find her saying,
Oh, Greatheart, I love you so much - so much - I want - to kiss you! I can stand it all but the nickname; but the book is selling by the thousands, so if there is anything wrong it must be with me.
The reviewer in The Illustrated London News was more cynical:
Greatheart with all the signs and portents of a best seller upon it, depresses us. It is permeated with the kind of sentimentality (a very popular kind) which lingers lusciously over the masterful embraces of the man and the burning blushes of the maiden. There is nothing in the plot that could be describes as the least improper, but the appeal of the story is to the sensuous-minded young person. The intelligent public does not, we think, care for Baronets as beautiful as Apollo, and heroines who are alternately clasped in the passionate embrace of a wooer and flogged by a mother with a dog-whip; but, alas! intelligent novel-readers are in the minority.
According to the publishing history inside the 6th impression, it was first published in May 1918, and the copies listed in Jisc confirm this date. But according to the 21st impression, issued in 1931 by Ernest Benn, the book was first published in 1917, which is wrong.
Bibliography code: TFU-18.1
Publisher: T. Fisher Unwin
Binding: Pale green boards with title, author and Author of "The Way of an Eagle" on front; same on spine plus publisher; Fry's breakfast cocoa in logo in black on back boards (6th impression)
Size: 190 x 130 mm
Dust jacket: signe Blam, above title, centre
Internal illustrations: none
Price: 6 shillings
Printing history: First edition
Dust jacket of 6th impression, November 1919 (click to enlarge)
Printed by: Unwin Brothers, Limited, The Gresham Press, Woking and London
Notes: The 6th impression is probably almost the same as the first, except that the price has been reduced from 6 shillings to 3/6d.
Bibliography code: TFU-18.1ii
Publisher: Ernest Benn Limited4
Binding: Black linen boards embossed with obelsik and two lions either side; title, author and publisher in white on spine with three white lines to top and bottom; plain rear boards
Size: 182 x 119 mm
Dust jacket: no signature, drawing altered by removal of figure to right
Internal illustrations: none
Price: 2 shillings
Printing history: First published 1917 (which is wrong), 9th impression (Cheap edition) 1921; 21st impression 1931
Printed by: Made and printed in Great Britain
Dust jacket of 21st impression, 1931 (click to enlarge)