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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Maria Grey

Author: Maria Grey (1782–1857)

Alternate Name(s): Shirreff (maiden name); Hon. Mrs. Grey (familiar name)

Biography: Maria Grey was born in 1782 the daughter of General William Shirreff and Margaret Baynard. In 1805, she married the Hon. Lt. Col. William Grey (1777–1817), the brother of Charles Grey (the eventual 2nd Earl Grey and Prime Minister). In 1828, she published her first novel, De Lisle; or, The Distrustful Man and followed with two more. Her son William Thomas Grey married her niece Maria Georgina Shirreff, the novelist and educational reformer. Maria Grey died in 1857. The Hon. Mrs. Grey, as she was known to her readers, was often confused with her daughter-in-law Maria Georgina and the unrelated Catherine Maria Grey (1798–1870) and Anna Maria Grey (1823–1888)—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.

References: 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; Times (7 August 1857)

Fiction Titles:

  1. De Lisle: or, The Distrustful Man.  3 vol.  London: Edward Bull, 1828.
  2. The Trials of Life.  3 vol.  London: Edward Bull, 1829.
  3. The Way of the World.  3 vol.  London: Edward Bull, 1831.