Laura Richards was born in 1850 in Massachusetts to a prominent family. Her father founded the Perkins Institute and the Massachusetts School for the Blind. Laura's mother Julia Ward Howe wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic. From an early age Laura was exposed to literature and the arts. Laura Richards was a prolific writer of books for children. Captain January is perhaps her most famous owing to the movie starring Shirley Temple. During the 1890's Richards wrote several interrelated books including Melody, Marie, Bethsada Pool, and Rosin the Bean. The Margaret series is about three cousins of the same name one from the East, one from a ranch in the West, and one from a Cuban plantation, who come together for a summer's visit to an uncle whom they have never seen. Many of the incidents in the series are drawn from real life.