Angèle Manteau was the daughter of a prosperous textile manufacturer and was raised in Dinant, Belgium. She studied chemistry at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. In 1932, she took over a book import business and six years later was able to expand it into her own publishing house. Although her mother tongue was French, she also spoke Dutch fluently and quickly gained the trust of Flemish literary circles. She published both French and Flemish writers for more than 30 years and launched many new careers. In 1970, Angèle Manteau went to work for Elsevier in Amsterdam. She was made a baroness by the King of Belgium in 1986.