Sophie Wörishöffer née Andresen, was a cousin of the poet and novelist Detlev von Liliencron. In 1866, she married Albert Wörishöffer, an architect, who died four years later, leaving her destitute. To support herself and her son, she turned to writing newspaper articles, stories and novels, mainly on domestic subjects. Then publisher Velhagen & Klasing asked her to re-write and expand an undistinguished adventure novel for boys originally written by another author. The book was re-released in 1877 under the title Robert des Schiffsjungen Fahrten und Abenteuer auf der Deutschen Handels und Kriegsflotte ("Robert the Cabin Boy") and was a great success. She went on to produce a new adventure book every year for 20 years, using various pseudonyms. Her books were popular enough to be continually reprinted until 1945.