Arabella Burton Buckley was born in Brighton, England, to a prominent family. At age 24, she became a secretary to Charles Lyell, a lawyer and the leading geologist of his day, and worked for him for about 10 years. Then she began writing and lecturing on science. She knew a number of well-known scientists including Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. In 1884, she married Thomas Fisher, but continued publishing under her maiden name. In addition to her own writings, such as The Fairy-Land of Science (1878), many of them aimed at young people, she edited Mary Somerville's Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1877) and Heinrich Leutemann's Animals from Life (1887). Her books were popular enough to be translated into many other languages, including Japanese and Polish, during her lifetime.