Marie Sophie Schwartz was born in Borås, daughter of a German merchant and a Swedish mother. Fatherless from birth, she grew up with relatives. From 1843, she lived together with G. M. Schwartz, a professor of physics, who permitted her to make her debut as a writer only in 1851.
She wrote a large number of light, period-piece novels, often with a strong social slant; the most familiar titles are Mannen af börd och qvinnan af folket, 1858, Arbetet adlar mannan, 1859, and Positivspelarens son, 1863. In addition, she wrote numerous articles for magazines and newspapers. Her novels were translated into many languages and were popular among Danish and German readers.