Anne Manning was born in London, the eldest child in a large family. She was educated by her mother in history, sciences, and languages. In 1826, while still a teenager, she published her first book, A Sister's Gift, Conversations on Sacred Subjects. It appeared anonymously, as did much of her writings. She produced some 50 historical novels and had a devoted readership in the UK and USA. She also wrote other nonfiction works on religious and philosophical subjects, as well as some biography and history. Her first major historical novel, The Maiden & Married Life of Mary Powell, Afterwards Mistress Milton (1849), which captured the early Victorian vogue for archaic language, is perhaps her best-known work. Anne Manning published her autobiography, Passages in an Authoress's Life, in 1872.