Born in Fort Gilkicker, Hampshire, England in 1894, Elisabeth Margaret Hopkins was the cousin of the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and the granddaughter of the painter Frances Ann Hopkins. Her parents were Manley Ogden Hopkins and Caroline Hume Hopkins (nee Greenfield). She lived in various countries as a child (Bermuda, Malta, France) as well as south Wales and the Isle of Wight because her father was in the army. Having attended Jersey Ladies' College in England, she trained as a nurse at Middlesex Hospital in 1916 and served as a nurse in World War One. After the war she received her training in midwifery in 1921.

Hopkins arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in 1954. She spent her later years on Saltspring Island and Galiano Island where she was known to the locals as "Hoppy." Her delightfully self-illustrated children's book The Painted Cougar (Talonbooks, 1977) was published by David Robinson when she was 83 years old. She was the subject of a 1984 National Film Board documentary film called Hoppy in which she talked and painted her way through an interview at age 88. Her close neighbours on Galiano were Jane Rule and Helen Sonthoff. Hopkins died in 1991. Her papers are stored at UBC Special Collections. There is a plaque marking her grave at the Galiano Island cemetery overlooking Active Pass, not far from where she lived, with an inscription from "GMH" (Gerard Manley Hopkins) saying "What I do is me. For that I came."

[BCBW 2013] "Kidlit" "Art" "Galiano"