Remembered primarily for her works of children's literature, Brown penned The Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts; In the Days of Giants; The Lonesomest Doll; and Tales of the Red Children. She also wrote song lyrics, poems, plays, and non-fiction works.
While attending the Girls' Latin School (later called The Boston Latin Academy), she was heavily involved with the production and writing of the school's newspaper The Jabberwock. She later studied at Radcliffe College.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, she wrote for the St. Louis Globe Democrat under the pseudonym of Jean Neal.
She and her sister and fellow writer, Ethel Brown (also known by the pen name of Ann Underhill), grew up in Boston, Massachusetts as the children of Benjamin and Clara Brown.
She wrote a 1924 biography of the composer Edward MacDowell.