Elsa Sophia von Kamphoevener (or Kamphövener) was born in Hamelin, the daughter of a German military officer and government official. She grew up in Constantinople, surrounded by Turks, Greeks, and Armenians, and learned several languages. In 1900 the family was ennobled, and Baroness Elsa married her first husband, Adolph Elterlein; the couple had one son. Baroness Elsa and her husband divorced, and she married Ernst Marquardsen, a doctor. In 1919, she founded her own publishing company and a magazine. After the death of her second husband, Baroness Elsa was married to Alfred Bait, which also ended in divorce, and in 1927 she married Francis Kaub, a spa director. Elsa was employed by the UFA film studios in Berlin until 1931, when she devoted herself full-time to writing and to translating Turkish and Muslim fairy tales and children’s stories into German. After World War II, she became a popular storyteller on the radio.