Carolina Coronado was born in Almendralejo, Badajoz in the province of Extremadura on 20 December 1820. Her family was well-to-do, but they adhered to a progressive ideology that caused her father and grandfather to be persecuted. After moving to the provincial capital of Badajoz, Carolina received the formal education for girls of her time: fashion and housework. Despite this, she demonstrated at an early age an interest in literature, and she began to read works from widely varying genres. Thanks to this activity she gained a natural ability to compose verses. Though she employed somewhat sloppy language and committed grammatical errors, her lines were spontaneous and charged with feeling. Many of her poems were based on impossible loves. Her most notable subject was Alberto - who may not even have existed. Her earliest poems were written when she was 10 years old.
Her romantic temperament could also have been influenced by the chronic catalepsy from which she suffered. She even appeared to "die" on several occasions, leading her to become obsessed with death. She would eventually embalm her deceased husband, refusing to bury him, and she even had several "premonitions" in which she predicted the deaths of her children.
After taking a vow of abstinence after the death of Alberto at sea (whether he was real or imaginary), she revoked the vow when she married Horacio Justo Perry in Madrid in 1852. Perry was the secretary of the American embassy.
Coronado had a revolutionary spirit, and she became famous while living in Madrid for the literary salons she held. Her gatherings served as a meeting-point for progressive writers and a refuge for the persecuted, including many of the most well-known authors of the time. Unfortunately for her, her clandestine refuge and affinity for revolution brought about the disapproval of her contemporaries.
Despite this, she succeeded in publishing several works in newspapers and magazines and thus gained a certain measure of fame. Her physical beauty undoubtedly contributed to her success, and it caused infamous admiration in other romantic writers. In fact, José de Espronceda dedicated the following verses to her:
Coronado died in Lisbon, Portugal on 15 January 1911.
The main body of Coronado's work was lyric poetry. Her poems adopted diverse themes, including patriotic sentiment in ¡Oh, mi España!; religion in El amor de los amores and ¿Cómo, Señor, no he de tenerte miedo?; and especially Romanticism in poems such as A una gota de rocío, A la rosa blanca, Nada resta de tí, ¡Oh! cuál te adoro, A una estrella, and A las nubes. Her prolific works were compiled in a single volume entitled Poesías, published in 1843 and re-edited in 1852, that includes a prologue by Juan Eugenio Hartzenbusch.
In prose, she wrote a total of fifteen novels including Luz, El bonete de San Ramón, La Siega, Jarrilla, La rueda de la desgracia (1873), and Paquita (1850). Many critics consider the last to be the best. She also authored several plays like El cuadro de la esperanza (1846), Alfonso IV de León, Un alcalde de monterilla, and El divino Figueroa, but these endeavors are considered minor in comparison to her non-theatrical works.