Elizabeth Anna Hart, née Smedley, was born in London, England. She was a daughter of the Rev. Edward Smedley, a clergyman, literary critic, and poet, and his wife Mary Hume Smedley. Charles L. Dodgson, who wrote as Lewis Carroll, was a cousin. She married an officer in the Indian Army and had no children. With her older sister Menella Bute Smedley, she wrote poetry for children. Elizabeth also wrote novels for adults, the best known of which was Mrs Jerningham’s Journal (1870). The Runaway, a novel for girls, was written in 1872 and reissued in 1936 with woodcut illustrations by Gwen Raverat.