Ottilie Wildermuth, née Rooschütz, was born in Rottenburg am Necker in the kingdom of Baden-Württemberg (present-day Germany), the daughter of a magistrate and his wife. She began writing as a child. In 1833, as a teenager, she was allowed to study in Stuttgart for six months. In 1843, she married Wilhelm Wildermuth, a philologist 10 years her senior with whom she had five children. When her husband was appointed a professor of modern languages in Tubingen, she also taught English there and established a salon in their home that attracted writers and academics. In 1847, she published her first story, "Die alte Jungfer," and went on to write more short stories, novels, biographies, children's books and idyllic accounts of Protestant Swabian life. In 1870 she founded the children's magazine Jugendgarten, later continued by her daughters Agnes Willms and Adelheid Wildermuth. She died following a stroke at age 60.