Author Information At the Circulating Library
Author: Catherine Maria Grey (1798–1870)
Alternate Name(s): Grindall (maiden name); Mrs. Grey (familiar name); Mrs. Colonel Grey (familiar name)
Biography: Catherine Maria Grey was born in 1798 in Calcutta, the daughter of Benjamin Grindall, an employee of the Bengal Civil Service. Her father died while Grey was young, leaving her a ward in chancery. She married Lieutenant-Colonel John Grey of the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) in 1817 and the couple had seven children in the next thirteen years. Her husband died in 1842. Shortly after the birth of her last child, Grey began writing novels, beginning with Alice Seymour: A Tale in 1831. She would go on to publish twenty more novels (most of them three-volumes) over the next thirty-four years as well as "editing" some of the novels of her daughter Anna Maria Grey. Another daughter, Mary Caroline, also wrote a novel. Her best known work and most successful work was The Gambler's Wife (1844). She died in 1870 in Cheltenham. Mrs. Grey, as she was known to her readers, was often confused with her daughter Anna and the unrelated Maria Grey (1782–1857) and Maria Georgina Grey (1816–1906)—in fact, the works of all four women have been erroneously attributed to Elizabeth Caroline Grey (1800–87). See the works by Smith and Spedding who identified the authors correctly (the entry in Sutherland is erroneous).
References: British Census (1861); Era (25 December 1842); pers inf (Christine Kreeger); New Monthly Magazine (February 1817); Helen R. Smith, New Light on Sweeney Todd, Thomas Peckett Prest, James Malcolm Rymer and Elizabeth Caroline Grey (Jarndyce, 2002); Patrick Spedding, "The Many Mrs. Greys: Confusion and Lies about Elizabeth Caroline Grey, Catherine Maria Grey, Maria Georgina Grey, and Others," PBSA 104.3 (2010): 299–340; Sutherland