Bertita Harding, née Leonarz, was born in Nuremberg, Germany, a daughter of an engineer and his aristocratic Hungarian wife. In 1904, the family moved to Mexico City for her father's work, and she had a privileged childhood there. She took trips to Europe and the USA, and learned to speak German, Spanish, English, Hungarian, and French. She excelled as a pianist and her parents wished her to follow a career as a concert pianist. In 1923, she went to the University of Wisconsin to improve her English. There she met Jack Harding, a British-born American advertising agent. The couple married in 1926 and settled in Indianapolis, Indiana. She soon abandoned her musical career and began writing popular and acclaimed biographies and historical novels about royalty. Her first book, Phantom Crown (1934), was adapted by John Huston for the film Juarez in 1939. The following year, she moved to Hollywood at the invitation of Warner Brothers to write film scripts. In 1941, she began a career as public lecturer, giving more than 120 lectures throughout the USA. With her husband, she wrote The Land Columbus Loved: The Dominican Republic (1949), a travelogue. The same year, she published her autobiography, Mosaic in the Fountain. After her husband's death in 1953, she returned to Mexico City. She published her last book Concerto: The Glowing Story of Clara Schumann, in 1961.