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while on holiday in Harrogate in 1907, leaving an unfinished manuscript for her next novel, and hundreds of unpublished poems.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.
The earth that made the rose,
She also is thy mother, and not I.
The flame wherewith thy maiden spirit glows
Was lighted at no hearth that I sit by.
I sat before my glass one day,
And conjured up a vision bare,
Unlike the aspects glad and gay,
That erst were found reflected there -
As Christ the Lord was passing by,
He came, one night, to a cottage door.
He came, a poor man, to the poor;
He had no bed whereon to lie.
Many a flower have I seen blossom,
Many a bird for me will sing.
Never heard I so sweet a singer,
Never saw I so fair a thing.