Born Marie Sophie Ristaud (sometimes spelt Risteau) in March 1770 at Tonneins, Lot-et-Garonne, she was not yet twenty when she married her first husband, Jean-Paul-Marie Cottin, a banker. She wrote several romantic and historical novels including Elizabeth; or, the Exiles of Siberia (Elisabeth ou les Exilés de Sibérie 1806), a "wildly romantic but irreproachably moral tale", according to Nuttall's Encyclopaedia. She also published Claire d'Albe (1799), Malvina (1801), Amélie de Mansfield (1803), Mathilde (1805), set in the crusades and a prose-poem, La Prise de Jéricho. Her writing became more important to her after her first husband died when she was in her early twenties. She went to live with a cousin and her three children at Champlan (Seine-et-Oise) but died in her thirties, in Paris on 25 August 1807.