Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

(23 September 1861 – 25 August 1907)

Biography of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge poet

She was a British novelist and poet, who also wrote essays and reviews. She taught at the London Working Women's College for twelve years from 1895 to 1907. She wrote poetry under the pseudonym Anodos, taken from George MacDonald; other influences on her were Richard Watson Dixon and Christina Rossetti. Robert Bridges,the Poet Laureate,described her poems as 'wonderously beautiful..but mystical rather and enigmatic'

Coleridge published five novels, the best known of those being The King with Two Faces, which earned her £900 in royalties in 1897. She travelled widely throughout her life, although her home was in London, where she lived with her family. Her father was Arthur Duke Coleridge who, along with the singer Jenny Lind, was responsible for the formation of the London Bach Choir in 1875. Other family friends included Robert Browning, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, John Millais and Fanny Kemble.

Mary Coleridge was the great-grandniece of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the great niece of Sara Coleridge, the author of Phantasmion. She died from complications arising from appendicitis while on holiday in Harrogate in 1907, leaving an unfinished manuscript for her next novel, and hundreds of unpublished poems.

One of her poems, "The Blue Bird," was set to music by Charles Villiers Stanford. A family friend, the composer Hubert Parry, also set several of her poems to music.

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge's Works:

Published Works

Fancy's Following. Oxford: Daniel, 1896 (poems)
The King with Two Faces. London: Edward Arnold, 1897
The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. London: Chatto & Windus, 1898
Non Sequitur. London: J. Nisbet, 1900 (essays)
The Fiery Dawn. London: Edward Arnold, 1901
The Shadow on the Wall: a romance. London: Edward Arnold, 1904
The Lady on the Drawingroom Floor. London: Edward Arnold, 1906kiren
Holman Hunt. London: T. C. & E. C. Jack; New York: F. A. Stokes Co., [1908] (three numbers of Masterpieces in Colour issued together: Millais / by A. L. Baldry - Holman Hunt / by M. E. Coleridge - Rossetti / by L. Pissarro.)
Poems by Mary E. Coleridge. London: Elkin Mathews, 1908
Songs not listed
the deserted house

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The Witch

I HAVE walked a great while over the snow,
And I am not tall nor strong.
My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set,
And the way was hard and long.
I have wandered over the fruitful earth,
But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

The cutting wind is a cruel foe.

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