A German writer, composer and conductor, she studied piano and composition with Franz Ries in Bonn. She composed lieder, duets, choral music and stage works for amateurs. She also wrote poetry, political articles and art criticism. She met Felix Mendelssohn in Frankfurt, and became friends with Bettina Brentano. Her music was praised by Robert Schumann. She married Gottfried Kinkel, with whom she shared an interest in political activism. He was imprisoned following a demonstration, and upon his release, they moved to London. By this time she had stopped composing and became an advocate of women's rights.