Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda y Arteaga was the daughter of an aristocratic Spanish family living in Puerto Príncipe (today's Camagüey), Cuba. She was educated privately and moved to Spain during her youth. Gertrudis participated in the literary salons of the day, and was noted for her feminist approach to her writings. She became one of the foremost Romantic writers of 19th-century Spain.
In 1846, she married Pedro Sabater, a writer, who died shortly after the marriage. In 1855, she remarried to Domingo Verdugo y Massieu and the couple moved from Madrid to Cuba. Many of her plays were inspired by history and included Alfonso Munio (1844), El Principe de Viana (1844), and Egilona (1846). She also wrote the Biblical dramas Saul (1849) and Baltasar (1858). Though she tried to enroll in the Spanish Royal Academy, her nomination was refused on account of her gender.