Stephanie Claes-Vetter was born Johanna Maria Stephanie Vetter into a wealthy Catholic family in Zutphen, The Netherlands. She spent her childhood living in Brussels, Rotterdam, and other cities. She studied French, English and German. Her writing career began after the death of her father in 1905. In 1912, she married Ernest Claes, a Flemish writer with whom she had a son, and moved with him to Belgium. Stephanie Vetter became a pioneering advocate for women's rights, and from 1909 to 1914, she co-edited the highly-respected women's literary magazine De Lelie (The Lily). She published her earliest fiction, an episolatory novel, Eer de mail sluit (Before the Mail Closes), in 1915 and was thereafter a prolific writer. Her four great psychological novels, Quiet Life, Miete, As the Days Grow Longer and Her Own Way, appeared between 1926 and 1944.