Fullerton was born in Glenmaggie, Victoria, was educated at home by her mother and at the local state school. After leaving school she stayed on her parents property, until she moved to Melbourne in her early twenties. She was active in the women's suffrage movement from the 1890s and early 1900s. During World War I she wrote articles on feminist issues and arguing against conscription for Victorian publications. She visited England in 1912 and moved there in 1922.
She wrote stories, articles and verse for magazines and periodicals, sometimes under the pseudonym Alpenstock. She wrote three novels between 1921 and 1925 under her own name, but fearing prejudice against her as a woman without a university education, publication of her two last works in verse, Moles do so little with their privacy and The wonder and the apple, were published under the pseudonym E. Their publication was arranged by her friend Miles Franklin. Her identity as their author was revealed after her death.
Fullerton, Mary E. (Mary Eliza); University of Sydney. Library. Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service (1921), The breaking furrow, University of Sydney Library, Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service, retrieved 20 December 2013
Fullerton, Mary Eliza; Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS) (1931), Bark house days, Heath Cranton, retrieved 20 December 2013
Martin, S. 1998, 'Becoming-Violet: Mary Fullerton's Poetry and Lesbian Desire', Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature 1997, ASAL 1998, pp. 99–104.
Martin, S. 1997, 'Desire in the Love Poetry of Mary Fullerton', Hecate, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 95–103.
Martin,S. 1996, The polygamy of friendship : Mary Fullerton, Mabel Singleton, and Miles Franklin, Thesis (Ph.D.), Griffith University.
Martin, S. 1994, 'Past All I Know is All I Feel: Mary Fullerton's Poetry and Lesbian Desire', in Kay Ferres, ed. Coastscripts: Gender Representations in the Arts, AIWRAP: Griffith University, pp. 15–26.
Martin, S. 1993, 'Rethinking Passionate Friendships: the Writing of Mary Fullerton', Women's History Review, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 395–406.