Marianne Adelaide "Hedwig" Dohm, née Schlesinger, was born in Berlin, Germany to a large Jewish family. She left school at age 14, something she always regretted. She attended a teachers’ seminary in Berlin for a year in 1851-1852, but it is not clear whether she graduated. In 1853, she married (Friedrich Wilhelm) Ernst Dohm, the editor of a satirical journal, with whom she had five children. She became a pioneering first wave feminist writer and thinker who championed women’s rights in Germany and was an influential figure in intellectual circles. She criticized social, political, and familial gender inequality and demanded the right to higher education and the vote for women. She wrote articles, political essays, and reviews for newspapers, as well as short stories and novels. Her fictional works included a trilogy of novels and Become Who You Are, a novella. Her granddaughter Katharina "Katia" Hedwig Pringsheim married the writer Thomas Mann.