Jane Dieulafoy, née Magre, was born to a prosperous and cultivated French merchant family. She was educated in a Catholic convent school and learned Latin, Greek, and several modern languages. In 1870, she married Marcel Dieulafoy, a railway engineer. The following year, during the Franco-Prussian War, she cut her hair short, adopted male attire, and joined her husband in the French Army. He was then appointed the architect in charge of historical monuments, and she accompanied him to England, Italy, Spain, Egypt, and Morocco. In 1881-1882, she went with him on a 6,000 kilometer trek by horseback across the Caucasus Mountains to Persia to photograph and document monuments, bridges, and mosques. She kept a detailed diary and also took photos of individuals and various social groups. On their return to France, she published an account of their travels. In 1885, they returned by sea and caravan to the ancient city of Susa (present day Shush), where they conducted archeological excavations. Their finds were presented to the Louvre Museum, and Jane was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government. Her first novel, Parysatis (1890), was adapted into an opera with music by Camille Saint-Saëns. She later wrote three novels set during the French Revolution, and several books about the couple's explorations of old Spanish and Portugese buildings and churches. When her husband was assigned to build roads and railways around Rabat, Morocco, Jane went with him and directed excavation of the 12th-century Yaʿqūb al-Mansūr Mosque.