Anthonetta "Top" Naeff was born into a wealthy middle-class family and lived most of her life in Dordrecht. She remained unmarried. Naeff is best remembered for her popular books for teenage girls, notably Schoolidyllen (1900). Her works explored the themes of childhood rebellion against parental hypocrisy, and the gradual acceptance and conformity of social rules. Naeff also worked as a theater critic for Elsevier's Maandblad and De Groene Amsterdammer publications. She published her autobiography, Zo was het ongeveer (That’s More or Less the Way it Was), in 1950.