Helmina von Chézy was born Wilhelmina Christiane von Klencke and raised by her grandmother, the poet Anna Louisa Karsch. After they moved to Paris in 1801, she began to publish in the journal Franzosische Miscellen ("French miscellany"). A brief first marriage to a nobleman ended in divorce. In 1805, she married Antoine-Léonard de Chézy, a French Orientalist, and the couple had two sons. After the breakup of her second marriage, Helmina travelled extensively, was active in politics, and wrote prolifically. She's best known for writing the libretto for Carl Maria von Weber's opera Euryanthe (1823) and the play Rosamunde, for which Franz Schubert provided incidental music (1820). She dictated her memoirs of life in the Napoleonic era in old age and they were published posthumously in two volumes at Leipzig in 1858.