Beatrice Harraden was born in Hampstead, London, the daughter of a musical importer. She took classes in Dresden, Germany, and attended Cheltenham Ladies College before graduating with degrees in mathematics and the classics from Bedford College of the University of London. She travelled extensively in Europe and the USA and in 1893 found fame with her bestselling debut novel, Ships That Pass in the Night. Besides 17 novels, she also wrote short stories, books for children, and a play. She became a leader of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), and was an active and forceful campaigner for female suffrage. In 1908, she joined the Women Writers' Suffrage League and wrote articles for the suffragist newspaper Votes for Women. She joined the Tax Resistance League and refused to pay taxes on her royalties until women were given the right to vote. Her dedication to the cause was among her favorite topics, as were female friendship and music and musicians. Beatrice Harraden served as a reader for the Oxford English Dictionary, and this, too was reflected in her fiction: The Scholar’s Daughter (1906) was set among lexicographers.