Maud Howe was one of six children of Julia Ward Howe and her husband Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. She was actually born at the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston, Massachusetts, where her father served as the director. She was educated privately under her mother’s guidance in the USA and Europe, and grew up under the influence of her parents' social reform activities and their friends, who included Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Longfellow. In 1887, she married John Elliott, an English artist. With her sisters Laura E. Richards and Florence Howe Hall, she wrote their mother's biography, The Life of Julia Ward Howe (1916), which won the 1917 Pulitzer Prize. Maud Howe Elliott wrote about 20 other books, incuding A Newport Aquarelle (1883), originally published anonymously; Roma Beata: Letters from the Eternal City (1904); Three Generations (1923); her husband's biography, John Elliott, The Story of an Artist (1930); My Cousin, F. Marion Crawford (1934); and This Was My Newport (1944).