Baroness Enrica Handel-Mazzetti was a daughter of Baron Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti, a captain in the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army. He died four months before her birth, and she was raised by her widowed mother Irene Csergheö. Her mother provided private tutors for Enrica's early education, after which she attended a Catholic convent school in St. Pölten. This strongly religious upbringing was reflected in her work. After graduation in 1887, Enrica returned home to Vienna and continued to study history, linguistics, and literature. At age 19, she published her first poems. She wrote popular historical romances, short stories, ballads and plays, some of which were first serialized in magazines. She also worked as a features writer for the Wiener Zeitung. She had her first major successes with the novels "Meinrad Helmperger's Memorable Year" (1900) and "Jesse and Mary" (1906). Following her mother's death, Enrica moved to Steyr to live with a paternal uncle, Baron Anton von Handel-Mazzetti. Her older sister Elvira had become a nun. When her uncle was appointed to a prestigious judicial position in 1911, she followed him to Linz, where she lived for the rest of her life. After the Anschluss, or annexation of Austria by Germany, her work was banned by the Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin. The Handel-Mazzetti Prize for Literature was named for her, and her image appeared on an Austrian postage stamp.