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Effie Adelaide Maria Henderson was born on 16 September 1858/1859 in New South Wales, Australia. She was the second daughter of the English Alexander Henderson (1828–1886) and Maria Nelson. Her sister Caroline Sidney Henderson was born on 9 January 1855. Their parents married on 26 December 1853 in in Hobart, Tasmania, but their marriage wasn't legal, because her father was already married and had not divorced. For that reason, Effie and her sister were illegitimates. Her father formed other families over the years, and she had several half brothers. Her maternal grandfather, Sidney Nelson, was a well-known composer, and her parents worked in his teathre company in Australia. The family moved to England, where in 1871, the Henderson sisters were boarders in Victoria Road, West Derby, Lancashire. Her sister became an actress under the name Carrie Hope, and on 8 January 1877, she married comedian William Henry Hallatt at Parish Church in St. Luke's, Chelsea, and had two children: Maria Effie Hallatt (alias May Hallatt), also an actress, and Alexander Norman Hallatt.

On 19 dic 1882 in Epsom, Surrey, Effie married Abraham Cecil Francis Fothergill Rowlands (alias Cecil Raleigh), an actor and playwright. Her father died on 1 February 1886 in Cannes, and her sister died on 19 October 1887 in Marylebone, London. Her husband abandon her, and she begun to write to support himself. She penned countless serials for magazines and newspapers that were reprinted around the world. She signed under her married name Effie Adelaide Rowlands, and started to pubished popular romance novels. Finally, she divorced her husband in 1892. On 1894, her ex-husband remarried actress Saba Raleigh, to which he would also abandon. And on 1896, Effie also remarried Italian musician Carlo Albanesi, professor at the Royal Academy of Music. She started to use the pennames of E. Maria Albanesi and Madame Albanesi to signed part of her novels. The marriage had two daugthers Eva Olimpia Maria Albanesi in 1897 and Margherita Cecilia Brigida Maria Albanesi in 1899. Eva, married Marshall Lord Curtis-Brown in 1917 and they had 3 children, and remarried with Austin Henry Williams in 1927 and had other child. Margherita (alias Meggie Albanesi), became an actress and died prematurely, aged 24. Her husband Carlo Albanesi died on 21 September 1926. Effie Adelaide Maria passed away on 16 October 1936 at her home in London.
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