Emily Flora Klickmann was born in Brixton, London, on 26 January 1867. She had ambitions to be a concert pianist, but her career was derailed by illness, and after a period as a music teacher, she became a music journalist. By 1895 she was contributing stories to The Windsor Magazine. In 1904 she became editor of The Foreign Field, a Wesleyan missionary magazine, and was also writing books on crafts and etiquette aimed at young girls.

In 1908 she became editor of the Girl's Own Paper. She moved the magazine from weekly to monthly, introduced articles on careers, fashion, photography and crafts, more short stories and fewer long long serials. Serials she wrote for the magazine included "The Flower Patch Among the Hills" and "The Lure of the Pen"

In 1912 she suffered a breakdown through overwork and stress, and spent a period of convalescence in Brockweir in Gloucestershire. In 1913 she married Ebenezer Henderson Smith, and they lived in Sydenham in South London, with a second home in Brockweir.

Beginning in 1916 she wrote a series of seven Flower Patch books set in "Rosemary Cottage", based on her cottage in Brockweir, combining nature description, anecdote, autobiography, religion, and humour, the last in 1948. She remained editor of the Girl's Own Paper until 1931, and also wrote novels, children's stories and non-fiction. Her husband died in 1937, and she died on 20 November 1958, and was buried at the Moravian Church in Brockweir.


  • Alan Clarke, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, p. 90

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