Born Dinah Maria Mulock at Longfield Cottage, Hartshill, Stoke-upon-Trent in 1826. Her father was a Nonconformist clergyman. She wrote poetry from an early age and helped her mother teach in a small school.
In 1831 the family went to live at Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire where she attended Brampton House Academy. On inheriting some property in 1839, they all moved to London. Dinah continued to study a range of modern and classical languages. Her other interests included drawing and music.
Her first work to be published was a poem on the birth of the Princess Royal which appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser in...