Anna Bonus was born into a wealthy merchant family and began writing as a child. In 1867, she married her cousin Algernon Kingsford, a clergyman, and the couple had one child. Anna Kingsford was one of the first Englishwomen to obtain a medical degree, graduating from the University of Paris in 1880. She was a vigorous advocate of higher education for women, being the owner and editor of The Lady’s Own Paper from 1872. She was also an avid supporter of the anti-vivisectionist movement.
She became a vegetarian and wrote The Perfect Way in Diet (1881). With the writer Edward Maitland, in 1884 she co-founded the Hermetic Society to promote reconciliation between Christianity and the Eastern faiths. Together, Anna Kingsford and Maitland wrote The Key of the Creeds (1875); Anna Kingsford's own volume Clothed with the Sun was published by Maitland in 1912 after her death.