Born at Ulverston on 29 March 1831, the daughter of William Henry Huddleston (1795-1862; e.m. 1822), whom she describes as a sternly patriarchal figure, though recalling 'his fine face, his gracious manner, his blameless life, his wonderful sermons and our long pleasant walks together'. Her autobiography describes in detail how she grew up in manses in the Shipley, Penrith and Ripon circuits in which her father was serving. While teaching in Glasgow she met and married Robert Barr, the owner of a woollen mill. In 1853 his business failed and they emigrated to America, living in Texas 1854-1868. After she was widowed, she moved to New York City and its vicinity, where she became a prolific author. Her publications, besides many articles, numbered more than sixty novels, chiefly historical romances and including Remember the Alamo which made her reputation. A woman of strong religious convictions, she had psychic powers, frequently dreamed of events still in the future, and in later life came to believe in reincarnation. She died at Richmond Hill, NY, on 10 March 1919.