Elizabeth Sara Sheppard was born in London, England. Her father was a Church of England clergyman of Jewish descent who died soon after she was born. To support the family, her mother started a school, at which Elizabeth taught music. She was an accomplished linguist who learned Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, and German. She began writing at an early age and at 16, drafted her best-known novel, Charles Auchester. She showed the manuscript to Benjamin Disraeli, who recommended it to his own publisher. It originally appeared anonymously in three volumes in 1853. She dedicated her next novel, Counterparts, or the Cross of Love (1854), to his wife, Mary Anne Disraeli. Her books had musical and artistic elements and often incorporated fictional versions of real people. The title character "Charles Auchester" studies music in Germany, where he meets "Seraphael," modeled on Felix Mendelssohn; his friend "Clara Bennette," a famous singer, was modeled on Jenny Lind. Rumour: A Novel (1858) featured Ludwig van Beethoven as "Rodomant." Other novels included The Double Coronet (1856) and Almost a Heroine (1859). Elizabeth also wrote poetry, composed songs, and created stories for children. She sometimes used the pen name E. Berger. She died in 1862, at age 32.