Fredrika Runeberg, née Tengström, was born in Pietarsaari, Finland, to a middle-class family. She lived most of her youth in Turku, then the capital, and attended a girls' school for a year. She met her cousin and future husband, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, later Finland's national poet, while living with her great-uncle Jakob Tengström, Archbishop of Turku. In 1828, she moved with her mother to Helsinki, the new Finnish capital. Three years later, she married Runeberg, with whom she had 7 children. Fredrika Runeberg became a pioneering female Finnish writer and journalist, and one of the first to address the status of women at home and in society. She wrote two historical novels, Fru Catharina Boije och hennes döttrar (Catharina Boije and Her Daughters, 1858) and Sigrid Liljeholm (1862). She also wrote articles for various newspapers and magazines, and translated foreign literature and articles, mostly from French, German and English, into Swedish. Her autobiography Min pennas saga (The Story of My Pen) was not published until 1946. She wrote all her works in Swedish, and was not well-known to the Finnish people until 100 years after her death.