Elizabeth grew up in Exeter, New Hampshire but had moved to Paris. She was living with a friend next door to Bougereau when they fell in love.
However, they were not married right away because of strong family objections. Bougereau's daugter (from his first marriage) threatened to enter a convent, his mother (who ran the household) also disaproved.
In 1879, Elizabeth and Bouguereau became secretly engaged. He gave her his self portrait (featured on the first page) as a token of his love.
In 1896, Bouguereau's mother died. After a respectable amount of time the two were married and spend a wonderful honeymoon in Italy.