Maude Valérie White was a French-born English composer who became one of the most successful songwriters (in the English serious genre) of the Victorian period. Although born near Dieppe in Normandy to upper middle class parents, White and her family moved to England when she was only one year old. She spent her childhood in Heidelberg, Paris, and England, and played the piano from an early age. At seventeen she had already composed her first song. She studied Composition with Oliver May while in London, and Counterpoint and Harmony with W. S. Rockstro while living in Torquay. In 1876 White went to the Royal Academy of Music after she finally persuaded her reluctant mother to allow her to pursue music as a career. While at the Academy she studied Composition with George Alexander Macfarren, and set poems written in English, German, and French.