"Who are you?" said the young man, looking at her in surprise. "I am Nerina," answered the child. "Where do you come from? What is your country?" She pointed vaguely to the southwest mountains, where the snow on the upper ranges was still lying with bands of cloud resting on it. "From the Abruzzo?" She was silent...Ouida was the pen name of the English novelist Marie Louise de la Ramee. Ramee, who lived from 1839 until 1908, took her pen name from her own baby-talk nickname for Louise. She wrote more than 40 novels, children's books, and collections of short stories and essays -- books that had flash, but frequently, well, weren't wholesome. She wrote about folks full of lust acting out the things inside their hearts ...she was a woman, in short, ahead of her time. But her best work -- novels like Under Two Flags and Moths -- was so gripping that even the Victorian social critics had to own that she was a talent. In 1874 she moved from London to Italy, and spent the remainder of her life in that country. She died there (alas, like many memorable writers) in poverty.