Maria Janitschek (1859-1927) is born as an illegitimate officer's daughter in Vienna and grows up in poor conditions in Hungary. In 1878 she moves to Graz, where she works for newspapers under the pseudonym Marius Stein. In 1882 she marries the Austrian art historian Hubert Janitschek (1846-1893). Marriage gives her a respected social and intellectual position, supported by the fact that her husband represents a more progressive image of women.
Between 1895 and 1902 she publishes twelve works, including essays, novellas, novels and poems. Her first book Legenden und Geschichten (Legends and Stories) is published in 1885 by W. Spemann Verlag. The couple moves to Leipzig in 1892. When Hubert Janitschek dies, the female writer turns to Berlin, where she links up with the bourgeois women's movement.
In 1896 Janitschek becomes a Berlin S. Fischer publishing house author through Ernst von Wolzogen (1855-1934). During this time she publishes three novellas: Vom Weibe (Of a Woman) and Ins Leben verirrt (Lost in Life) in 1896, Raoul und Irene (Raoul and Irene) in 1897. Her novel Die Amazonenschlacht (The Battle of the Amazons) is also published in 1897. "Here Janitschek depicts the failure of a young woman's emancipation efforts leaving married life in a small town to achieve fulfilment in Berlin. Hildegard Wallner, a spoiled and dependent woman, does not cope in the big city and has to say goodbye to the ideals of the women's movement. Eventually, she repents and returns to her husband." (Söhnke Callsen)
She can already be found in Munich before 1902, where she is celebrated in the literary salon of Carry Brachvogel (1864-1942) as a "hot-blooded beautiful erotic". After her novella volume Frauenkraft (Women's Power – 1900) another one comes out 1902 under the title Die Neue Eva (The New Eve).
Around the turn of the century, Janitschek is considered a committed author of the women's movement, which provoked violent reactions among the empire's patriarchal society though. In her poem Ein modernes Weib (A Modern Woman), published in 1889, she already demands the right to retore a woman's honour with a fatal outcome for the man. This causes displeasure among the censorship authorities: Die neue Eva is banned in 1909.
However, Janitschek cannot be clearly assigned: she is not a member of any of the women's movement organisations and associations. During the First World War she also writes light fiction and she is one of the best-known authors in Munich in 1925.