Baroness Emma Maria Frieda Johanna von Richthofen was born into an aristocratic German family and received an excellent upper-class education. She was a relative of the famous World War I pilot Manfred von Richthofen (the "Red Baron"). In 1899, Frieda married Ernest Weekley, a professor of French at University College of Nottingham in England who was much older than she, and the couple had three children. She fell in love with the writer D.H. Lawrence, who was six years her junior, and eloped with him to Germany; the couple married in 1914. They returned to live in England but Frieda suffered from the anti-German sentiment of the wartime era. After the war, they traveled abroad, visiting Europe, Asia, Australia, and the USA. The marriage was tempestuous and dramatic. With Lawrence‚Äôs death in 1930, Frieda retired to their home in Taos, New Mexico. She eventually married a third time in 1952 to the painter Angelo Ravagli.
Frieda wrote a memoir of life with Lawrence entitled Not I But The Wind (1935) and her own memoirs, which were edited and published posthumously as Frieda Lawrence: the Memoirs and Correspondence (1961).