Intellectually gifted Mary Coleridge was the great-grand-niece of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Her parents were impressively well connected to writers and musicians in the London of the last half of the nineteenth century.

Mary met weekly with friends in the late 1880s to discuss literature and to read their own creative work. She had already managed to place reviews and essays in various journals before her first novel,The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, was published. Set in Germany, it is a tale full of secret societies, romance and disguise and was generally well received, as were her other historical adventure novels. She wrote poetry throughout her life, and her collectionFancy’s Following was published in 1896.

A committed Christian, Coleridge taught literature to young women at the Working Women’s College for several years. She died after contracting blood poisoning following an operation to remove her appendix.

Recording commissioned by the Poetry Archive, reproduced here by kind permission of the reader.

Poems by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

The Witch

Read by Jo Shapcott
The Witch - Mary Elizabeth Coleridge - Read by Jo Shapcott

Books by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

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