Charlotte Riddell aka Mrs J.H. Riddell was born Charlotte Eliza Lawson Cowan on September 30th 1832 in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ireland. Charlotte married Joseph Hadley Riddell in 1857 and moved to London. The following year her first novel, The Moors and the Fens, appeared issued under the pseudonym of F. G. Trafford, a name she kept until 1864. She was a prolific writer, authoring 56 books, novels and short stories. From 1867, she was the co-proprietor and editor of the prestigious St. James's Magazine and also edited a magazine called Home, and wrote short tales for the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge and Routledge's Christmas annuals. Charlotte was also considered a prominent writer of ghost stories and several of her novels, Fairy Water, The Uninhabited House, The Haunted River, The Disappearance of Mr. Jeremiah Redworth and The Nun's Curse are based on supernatural occurrences. Joseph died in 1880 and brought 23 years of a happy but childless marriage to an end. From 1886, she lived in seclusion at Upper Halliford, Middlesex. She was the first pensioner of the Society of Authors, receiving a pension of AGBP60 a year in May 1901. Charlotte died from cancer in Ashford, Kent, England on 24 September 1906.